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Improved fatigue resistance in transfer-printed flexible circuits embedded in polymer substrates with low melting temperatures

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pFlexible electronics are of great interest and importance due to their applications in a range of fields, from wearable electronics to solar cells. Whilst resolutions of printed flexible electronics have been improving in recent years, there remain problems with mechanical fatigue and substrate cost, curtailing the use of such devices and resulting in increased cost and waste products. Here we present a novel method for improving the fatigue resistance of printed flexible electronics by a factor of ∼40 by sintering the electronics prior to transferring them into low-cost polymer substrates, such that they remain embedded. This method is demonstrated using circuits printed using silver nanoparticulate ink with an aerosol jet printer, and could be applicable to multiple different metallic inks. At the same time, this method can be used to transfer print circuits into polymers with low melting temperatures, without the need for otherwise detrimentally high sintering temperatures required for ink curing.</jats:p>



aerosol-jet printing, flexible electronics, metallic nanoparticulate ink, fatigue resistance, transfer printing

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Flexible and Printed Electronics

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IOP Publishing
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/R022283/1)
EPSRC (2108505)