INT | Nanostructured Materials

Printed Materials

The printed materials group research is focused on the formulation of functional inks, optimized and novel printing processes, as well as thin film device fabrication and integration.
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Printables Group
Group Members (from left): Horst Hahn, Gabriel Marques, Jasmin Aghassi-Hagmann, Ben Breitung, Robert Kruk, Tessy Baby, Surya Singaraju, Parvathy Anitha, not in image: Jaehoon Jeong, Felix Neuper

Printing has evolved from simple image reproduction into a vastly applied technique for material application throughout all industial processes. Our group focusses on the development of new materials, ink compositions, and process optimization for production of electronic components and circuits.

Going beyond single component processes, we also analyze and optimize complex printed logics to allow full device integration.

Our expertise lies with printing in the micro- to nano-scale, thin film devices, inorganic semiconductors, and printed conductive materials. We strive to develop low-temperature processes on flexible substrates by rethinking each step from ink formation to circuit design.

Current Research Projects

Printing technology has proven to be a very complex topic. The properties of a final device are not only governed by the materials themselves, but also heavily influenced by processing steps, layouts, applied printing technique, and environmental conditions. In general we subdivide our reseach efforts into three categories: materials, processes and technology, and devices and circuits.

Materials

The Materials activity focuses on the development of ink systems using precursors or nanoparticles for providing the desired material post-printing. Each material is directly tested on simple systems like single field-effect transitors (FETs), resistors or conductive lines before being transferred for application to cooperating groups. With the feedback from these partnerships, our materials are constantly improved and adapted to the end use.

Targeted applications and investigated systems include:

  • (semi-) conductors
  • dielectrics & electrolytes
  • energy storage materials
  • porous structuring
  • self-jellifying ionic gels
  • low-temperature annealing
Porous SnO2 prepared by a template method. The porous structure allows penetration by an electrolyte ink increasing the effectively active surface of a device.

Processes and Technology

The Processes and Technology part of the Printed Materials activity focuses on the development of printing technologies, and on the adjustment of inks to the respective printing processes or vice versa. This includes adding non-printing technology to increase the range of potential applications.

In a close cooperation with PD Dr. Dr. Michael Hirtz, dip-pen nanolithography is used for nano-sized features.

Among others, we apply:

  • ink-jet printing
  • microplotting
  • dip-pen nanolithography
  • atomic layer deposition
  • ablation lasering
Schematic of dip-pen printing with nano-scale resolution

Low Power Electronics with Advanced Materials

Once materials and processes are established, the experiences made here are used in cooperative efforts with Prof. Dr. Jasmin Aghassi-Hagmann's group on the design and production of Low Power Electronics with Advanced Materials (LPEAM). Providing a constant feedback loop, both materials and processes are optimized to be able to produce more complex electronic logics by printing.

Major topics of LPEAM include:

  • system-on-a-chip devices (SoCs)
  • hybrid electronic systems for the internet of things (IoT)
  • printed security circuits with unclonable properties
  • sensors
  • creating circuit desing kits for printing technology
Design of a ring oscillator from printed field-effect transistors

Recent Publications and Highlights


Most Recent Publications


Mechanochemical synthesis: route to novel rock-salt-structured high-entropy oxides and oxyfluorides.
Lin, L.; Wang, K.; Azmi, R.; Wang, J.; Sarkar, A.; Botros, M.; Najib, S.; Cui, Y.; Stenzel, D.; Anitha Sukkurji, P.; Wang, Q.; Hahn, H.; Schweidler, S.; Breitung, B.
2020. Journal of materials science, 55, 16879–16889. doi:10.1007/s10853-020-05183-4
Adhesive Ion‐Gel as Gate Insulator of Electrolyte‐Gated Transistors.
Jeong, J.; Singaraju, S. A.; Aghassi‐Hagmann, J.; Hahn, H.; Breitung, B.
2020. ChemElectroChem, 7 (13), 2692. doi:10.1002/celc.202000687
ALD-Derived, Low-Density Alumina as Solid Electrolyte in Printed Low-Voltage FETs.
Neuper, F.; Marques, G. C.; Singaraju, S. A.; Kruk, R.; Aghassi-Hagmann, J.; Hahn, H.; Breitung, B.
2020. IEEE transactions on electron devices, 1–6. doi:10.1109/TED.2020.3005624
Fully Printed Inverters using Metal‐Oxide Semiconductor and Graphene Passives on Flexible Substrates.
Singaraju, S. A.; Marques, G. C.; Gruber, P.; Kruk, R.; Hahn, H.; Breitung, B.; Aghassi-Hagmann, J.
2020. Physica status solidi / Rapid research letters, Art.Nr. 2000252. doi:10.1002/pssr.202000252
Tailored Silicon/Carbon Compounds for Printed Li–Ion Anodes.
Sukkurji, P. A.; Issac, I.; Singaraju, S. A.; Velasco, L.; Hagmann, J. A.; Bessler, W.; Hahn, H.; Botros, M.; Breitung, B.
2020. Batteries & supercaps, batt.202000052. doi:10.1002/batt.202000052