Japanese company develops silver ink that requires no heat to harden

January 19, 2012 by Bob Yirka weblog
An electronic circuit created through flexographic printing using the silver ink. Image: Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Consider for a moment, all the circuit boards that have been made, particularly those in the past few years. Most have two parts to them, not including the board itself. The first are parts that do things, like the computing that goes on in chips. The other part is the silver on the surface of the board that serves as a sort of wiring, connecting all the other parts together. Nowadays, the silver is printed onto the circuit board, a process that has become mechanized. But the thing is, the silver has to be made to harden to do its job, and that generally requires heating it. That may be changing though, as it appears a Japanese company called Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. has figured out a way to harden silver onto a surface using ultraviolet light instead of heat.

Everyone knows that silver is a pretty soft metal, but it’s also amazingly conductive, and that’s why it’s used so much in electronics. The problem is, using heat to harden the silver reduces the number of materials on which it can be applied because it would cause them to melt. Thus, a new process that uses at room temperature to harden the silver would allow silver ink to be printed and hardened onto virtually any surface, which might mean, the electronics industry is finally on the path to creating flexible and other exotic-material based electronic devices.

Japanese company develops silver ink that requires no heat to harden
Product sample. Image: Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.

To print silver onto a surface, it first must be made into an ink of sorts, which typically involves making a resin (liquid material that hardens under certain conditions) that will not only stick to the surface to which it’s being applied but allow for the ink to exist in a liquid state so that it can be squirted or squeezed out of a nozzle. And that apparently is the key to new ink, it’s in the materials used in making the resin, though of course the company isn’t divulging just what they’ve done to make that ink, as they prefer to reap some profits from their work. But the bottom line is, once the is laid or sprayed onto a , they shoot it with an ultraviolet light and it hardens in just 0.3 seconds. And because a manufacturing process that uses ultraviolet light would be much cheaper and simpler than one that relies on heat, prices for such should go down resulting in lowered prices for consumer products that use them.

Explore further: New silver-based ink has applications in printed electronics

More information: Press release

Related Stories

Xerox Develops Silver Ink for Cheap Printable Electronics

October 27, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Xerox has developed an ink which can be used to print circuits onto plastics, films, and textiles. Although circuits printed on flexible materials aren't new, Xerox's method may be cheap and easy enough to ...

Ink with tin nanoparticles could print future circuit boards

April 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Almost all electronic devices contain printed circuit boards, which are patterned with an intricate copper design that guides electricity to make the devices functional. In a new study, researchers have taken ...

Researchers create rollerball-pen ink to draw circuits

June 28, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two professors from the University of Illinois; one specializing in materials science, the other in electrical engineering, have combined their talents to take the idea of printing circuits onto non-standard ...

Recommended for you

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

August 26, 2016

How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical. However, a new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China ...

New method developed for producing some metals

August 25, 2016

The MIT researchers were trying to develop a new battery, but it didn't work out that way. Instead, thanks to an unexpected finding in their lab tests, what they discovered was a whole new way of producing the metal antimony—and ...

New electrical energy storage material shows its power

August 24, 2016

A powerful new material developed by Northwestern University chemist William Dichtel and his research team could one day speed up the charging process of electric cars and help increase their driving range.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.