A new dimension for sensor technology

07-08-2020 | Binder | Test & Measurement

The Binder Innovation and Technology Center has created a new direct printing technique that enables the application of functional electronic layers directly on a component.

As digitalisation increases, so does the demand for new sensor technologies. The company has developed a new direct printing technique – the binder method – that can overcome all these challenges. According to Dr Stefan Ernst, one of the co-developers of the new printing technique, the advantages are apparent. “The printed electronics need less space. Also, they are more flexible in application and more cost-efficient.“

The newly founded technology center started operation. With the help of a recently developed transfer printing technique, the company was able, for the first time, to apply planar functional electronic layers with a thickness of maximum precision to textured, three-dimensional surfaces in only one printing pass. In this way, circuit traces, sensors and displays, for example, can be printed. Foils or other substrate materials are totally unnecessary with this technique – an active bonus to environmental protection. The highest demands for environmental conditions and safety can still be satisfied by overprinting a protective layer. Specially developed nano pastes for printing give stable parameters for the printing process.

With the synthesis of the knowledge and experience of the company, from the areas of electronics, printing technology, physics and chemistry, the new printing technique has excellent application potential in any amount of industrial areas. The possibilities of printing extend from flexible circuit traces and heating elements up to sophisticated sensors. By printing capacitive sensor elements, for example, touch displays of almost any shape can be implemented on three-dimensional and/or textured surfaces. Temperature sensors or strain gauges can be implemented by measuring the change in the resistance values of the printed functional layers. With the flexible printing technique, the entire sensor can be immediately adapted to the application-specific task at hand. As a result, this solution approach is an interesting alternative, also in financial terms, to conventional SMDs.

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