Liquid metal droplet jetting is a new digital printing technology being developed by Xerox that is capable of producing solid metal conductive electronic traces. The process uses extremely inexpensive metal wire as the feedstock material rather than nanoparticle suspension inks. Jetted traces adhere well to most flexible substrates with little or no substrate cleaning, and there is no need for drying or curing after deposition. Each jetted molten metal droplet partially overlaps with previously deposited material and solidifies to produce fully dense conductive metal traces whose electrical conductivities closely match that of the bulk material. The process is particularly well suited for high current applications.
This talk will first present an overview of how the process works. Next, practical considerations with respect to electrical conductivity, substrate compatibility, adhesion, flexural performance, and other metrics will be discussed. Lastly, the talk will look forward to applications involving fabrication of highly conductive printed electronics on non-planar surfaces.