Photonic Sintering of 3D Inkjet Fabricated Advanced Electronic Materials
Additive manufacturing (AM) has experienced an explosive increase in research and industrial interest due to its ability to reduce waste and quickly prototype devices. A subset of this field is 3D inkjet materials printing which has the ability to build layered submicron particle structures of thin or thick films with higher resolution when compared to other AM methods. A technology recently introduced into the field of 3D inkjet manufacturing is photonic sintering- a method of fusing the inkjet deposited particles together using energy radiated from a xenon flashlamp. This allows for the deposited films to be continuous and enhances desired properties. While this new method has been demonstrated successfully in multiple varieties of metallic particles, it has yet to be widely adopted in inkjet printed ceramic films. The primary focus of this research is to investigate the feasibility of using photonic sintering for inkjet printed advanced electronic materials including high temperature ceramic and metallic particles. 3D inkjet printing parameters were determined for a subset of the sample materials and all materials were deposited onto substrates using inkjet deposition or drop casting. UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy was used to determine the absorbance spectra of the samples and the spectra were compared to a typical xenon flashlamp spectrum. The samples were subjected to xenon radiation under different voltage, pulse length, frequency, distance from lamp, and pulse number parameters. The microstructures of the photonically processed samples were then observed using scanning electron microscopy to look for indications of sintering. Sintering was observed in all samples.