Jetting Functional Fluids

Rheology, Deposition, Process & Development

Thursday 15 - Friday 16 June, 2017

Novotel Gent Centrum Hotel, Ghent, Belgium


There is no doubt that digital deposition of fluids containing functional materials, using inkjet heads is an extremely attractive proposition: being able to place a tiny and highly controlled amount of fluid to a few microns of placement accuracy has the potential to transform conventional manufacturing processes. Whether the functional fluids have electronic, pharmaceutical or other attributes, the challenges of getting them to “jet” with suitable performance and to “functionalise” on the target substrate are common headaches for the material deposition community.

In this course we will focus on the practicalities of inkjet printing of these challenging fluids. We will consider in detail the basic building blocks of a material deposition inkjet system: the inkjet printheads, the ink or fluid, the motion platform and the substrate. We will look at the methods available to create printed structures that deliver the required performance. In addition we will provide a background to fine-tuning inks and their jetting waveforms to improve performance. The course will also provide a sometimes salutary background on the conventional manufacturing capabilities that must be matched for material deposition by inkjet to move into large scale production environments.

Live Demonstrations

As part of the course, there will be demonstrations using a Dimatix DMP deposition system - your chance to see this deposition platform in action.


Thursday 15 June 2017

12:30 - 13:30 Registration

13:30 Course begins

The basic components of an inkjet system for functional fluid deposition

  • Heads
    • Choice of inkjet heads
    • Material compatibility
    • Drive electronics and systems
    • Selection criteria for inkjet heads
  • Inks
    • Basic tests for potential inkjet inks and re-formulation options
    • Jetting methods to evaluate ink performance
  • Inkjet platform
    • Buy or build?
    • Fundamental choices when deciding on a system
    • Accuracy and compensation methods
    • Control software considerations
  • Substrate
    • Fundamentals of the substrate – ink interaction
    • Practical substrate characterisation
    • How to optimise your patterning
    • Surface treatment options
  • Functionalising
    • Making the printed fluid into the printed “thing” you need
    • Thermal vs photonic methods for nano-metal materials
    • UV methods for dielectric type materials

17.00 Session ends

18.00 – 19.00 Reception

Join us for beers, wines and good company!

Friday 16 June 2017

09:00 Session begins

Inkjet image fundamentals

  • A primer on printing bitmap images (when you really want a nice vector)
    • What is a bitmap?
    • Encoders and drive systems
    • Resolution and image conversion
    • Dealing with image artifacts
    • Software techniques

Ink delivery and ink management systems

  • Filtration, heating/cooling, degassing and ink delivery
  • Customised and commercial ink delivery systems

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 Session begins

Practical applications and case studies

  • Examples and lessons learnt
  • Hands on with inkjet components

Moving functional printing to industrial scale

  • System considerations, yield requirements and cost modelling

An overview of material deposition and printed electronics using inkjet

  • Things that can (and maybe cannot) be done

17:00 Course ends

Course LeaderS

Dr Neil Chilton, Technical Director
Printed Electronics Limited, UK

Neil has more than twenty years’ experience in the field of electronics and electronic components. After completing his BSc and PhD in Physics, his technical career took him to Japan where he worked for four years at the advanced materials research division of Nippon Steel Corporation.

After returning to the UK he joined Europe’s then largest printed circuit board manufacturing company where he was later part of an MBO team and technical director. In 2006 together with co-founder Dr Steve Jones, he started Printed Electronics Limited to focus on the practical use of inkjet for manufacturing electronic interconnects, devices and systems.

Dr Clare Conboy, Formulation Chemist
Printed Electronics Limited, UK

Clare has more than 20 years’ experience of formulating and characterising fluids for spray and printing applications. This includes many years of working with inkjet inks for piezo and thermal DOD printheads, initially for graphics and in recent years for materials deposition applications, including a diverse range of materials including metals, inorganics and adhesives in a range of solvent systems. Following completion of a PhD in Chemistry, she has worked for a number of organisations with a focus on inkjet technology, including Xaar and Plastic Logic. Clare has been involved with Printed Electronics Limited since its establishment.