University of Oulu

J. Putaala et al., "Capability Assessment of Inkjet Printing for Reliable RFID Applications," in IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 281-290, June 2017. doi: 10.1109/TDMR.2016.2636342

Capability assessment of inkjet printing for reliable RFID applications

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Author: Putaala, Jussi1; Niittynen, Juha2; Hannu, Jari1;
Organizations: 1Microelectronics Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Meyer Burger B.V., 5657 EB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
3Tampere University of Applied Sciences, 33520 Tampere, Finland
4Department of Electronics and Communications Engineering, Tampere University of Technology, 33101 Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-02-22


In this paper, inkjet-printed silver traces and interconnections produced with the print-on-slope technique were used in an radio-frequency identification (RFID) structure operating in the ultra-high-frequency range. Underfill material was used to attach silicon RFID chips onto flexible, 125-μm -thick polymer substrates. The cured underfill was also used as a sloped surface for printing interconnection traces from the chip to the plastic substrate’s radiators. Inkjet printing was performed in one phase, producing both the interconnections to the chip and the radiators. This enables the use of a single-phase continuous roll-to-roll compatible process instead of the commonly used two-phase stop-and-go process. To further investigate the behavior of the printed low-temperature nanoparticle ink and its compatibility with different substrate materials, basic conductive traces were printed onto the substrates. Thereafter, the structures were exposed to thermal/humidity tests at 85 °C temperature/85% relative humidity (“85/85”) for up to a 2000-h period. To gain an understanding of the response of the structures under stress, the samples were intermittently characterized by using a read range measurement device, followed by the removal of failed samples from the test. The samples were characterized also by optical imaging and field-emission scanning electron microscopy. The bulk conductive traces were characterized electrically by measuring their resistances during test breaks. The results point out that although some challenges are still to overcome, inkjet printing is a feasible way of producing conductive traces for RFID structures, and that the print-on-slope technique is utilizable also in practical applications as a cost-effective method with adequate reliability for producing interconnections between chip and substrate.

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Series: IEEE transactions on device and materials reliability
ISSN: 1530-4388
ISSN-E: 1558-2574
ISSN-L: 1530-4388
Volume: 17
Issue: 2
Pages: 281 - 290
DOI: 10.1109/TDMR.2016.2636342
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
221 Nanotechnology
216 Materials engineering
Funding: The authors would like to thank M.Sc. Tuomo Siponkoski from the University of Oulu for laser microscopy imaging and measurements.
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