Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HIPERLAM (High Performance Laser-based Additive Manufacturing)

Summary
The Project is aimed towards Research and Innovation, with a strong emphasis upon demonstrating superior cost and speed performance in end-to-end processes featuring laser-based additive manufacturing in two key applications requiring high resolution printed conductive...\n\nThe Project is aimed towards Research and Innovation, with a strong emphasis upon demonstrating superior cost and speed performance in end-to-end processes featuring laser-based additive manufacturing in two key applications requiring high resolution printed conductive metallic lines, mainly laser printed RFID Antenna and Laser Fingerprinted sensors.

The promise of HiperLAM?s high resolution laser based additive manufacturing solutions is to transform the manufacturing processing speed by 10x for laser printed RFID antenna and 5x in the case of the lead-time for laser printed fingerprint sensor design. The existing multiple processing steps involved in the existing subtractive top-down processes can be replaced by HiperLAM?s additive processes, with significantly fewer steps. The reduction of steps reduce also the costs significantly (by 20x and by 2x respectively for Applications RFID Antenna and Fingerprint Sensor.

HiperLAM features high resolution LIFT Printing and Laser Sintering, utilizing high viscous inks to achieve printed conductive metallic structures down to 10 ?m resolution over large areas (upto 1000 cm2), suitable for scale-up to full production. The targeted applications address global market needs, and will support the mainstream adoption of Additive Manufacturing processes in the EU industry by displacing existing processes with smart, flexible, digitally enabled manufacturing technology.\n\nThe project is constructed out of 7 Work packages. In WP1, realistic and end-users' approved process maps have been drafted to benchmark HiperLAM?s throughput, speed and cost reduction achievements. Cost analysis model has been developed and cost and throughput have been calculated for both end applications. Next, the requirements of inks, laser printing and sintering systems were specified. In WP2, viscous inks were developed and supplied to partners for testing the LIFT and sintering processes. The rheology of inks has been characterized,and extensive experimental tests and evaluations were performed on different laser system configurations. The effect of laser parameters on drop formation and size were examined. In WP3, iterative material evaluation-optimization cycles were performed, and extensive experimental tests and evaluations were performed with selected materials on different laser system configurations. Successful high speed LIFT printing of continuous structures has been demonstrated. In addition, a detailed analysis of jet dynamics has been performed and validated with simulation studies of the jetting procedure. WP4 focused on printed ink sintering, insitu sintering diagnostics, and high resolution (10?m) selective laser patterning. An extensive lab setup was developed, using pulsed DPSS laser and several different beam delivery schemes. Different laser process recipes have been established for different ink/substrate configurations, finally achieving low resistance target for optimum Ag inks of a certain length. The abilities of fine-trimming of printed lines, and ablation of vias in sintered lines, were also demonstrated. WP6, focusing on Dissemination and Exploitation, provided a website, press releases, presentations and Conferences' abstracts. A total of 13 dissemination events have taken place within the project. Last, WP7, dedicated for management and coordination, made sure that all these activities are done in full collaboration and are well synchronized with work plan.\n\nImpact - LIFT is an attractive emerging technology which has not currently been commercialised. LPKF are known to be working on a technology for printing on glass and have expressed interest in learning more of the Printed Electronics applications of the HiperLAM project, in particular the use of conductive pastes. The window of opportunity for HiperLAM beneficiaries to go to market with a novel technology capable of superior printing resolution, throughput and lead-time compared to current technologies is still very much alive nearly 2.5 years on from the preparation of the proposal submission for H2020 funding.

If successful in continuing the current trajectory of RTD progress into the demonstrator systems to meet the critical user requirements, then HiperLAM results can be exploited to achieve significant impact in the target sectors. The achievement of low-cost RFID antenna on-a-chip promises to open up a large consumer-led market not currently accessible by higher cost RFID antenna systems. Similarly the reduction in lead-time bt the adoption of a mask-less printing system for Fingerprint sensors would create a significant opportunity in large-scale consumer-driven markets.
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High Performance Laser-based Additive Manufacturing
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