VFP Ink Technologies has always been forward-looking. Our company gives itself the means to anticipate our client future needs and high potential markets. In order to consistently offer innovative and unique products, our investment effort is permanent. The VFP Ink Technologies Research and Development team has therefore been strengthened with the arrival of Henda Basti, engineer in electronic physical chemistry and PhD graduate in material chemistry. Her post doctorate research work focused on copper nanoparticles based inks for inkjet printing, and was followed by a professional career in the elaboration of conductive ink for printed electronics through the creation of a specialized company: Inksys Nanotechnologies.
Quick overview with Henda Basti
What is the interest of conductive inks according to you?
Henda Basti: “The manufacturing of electronic components is primarily based on the use of the photolithographic process. The implementation of this process is expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, because it is a subtractive process, parts of the raw material are lost. The printing processes could answer the cost cutting challenge of electronic components manufacturing, while creating new possibilities such as the functionalization of large areas on flexible substrates. In the electronics industry, the design of conductive patterns is an essential axis. The printing of conductors thus seems to be a credible solution to transpose the performances of traditional techniques of applying conductive layers onto wide flexible surfaces, while reducing production costs. A possible alternative lies in the development of conductive inks adapted to silk-screen printing in order to print conductive patterns as a one-step process. “
Why does the industry seem to increasingly move towards the nanotechnologies?
H.B.: “Currently available metallic inks on the market for printed electronics applications are for the most part pasty inks made of silver platelet particles dispersed in a solvent. However, these inks are mostly dedicated to average resolution applications, in particular using silk-screen printing. The applications requiring a higher resolution as in the photovoltaic sector, touch-sensitive screens, OLED, transistors or for electronic devices interconnections, urge researchers to use more appropriate printing techniques such as inkjet, flexography or engraving, for which there is a real need to develop nanoparticles based inks.
These materials are especially appreciated for their chemical stability during the ink preparation. Furthermore, because of their size, these nano-objects possess a huge surface and a phenomenal reactivity, allowing to easily functionalize them through ligands or polymer, which improves the rheological properties of the ink that contains them. After heat treatment, these nanoparticles form a denser and more conductive metallic film at significantly lower annealing temperatures than with the platelet particles.”
What is the direction chosen by VFP Ink Technologies concerning conductive ink?
H.B.:”VFP Ink Technologies choses to position itself on the conductive ink market to target high-tech sectors such as the automative industry, the touch panel etc. and bring essential technical solutions while listening to our customer needs. VFP offers a range of silver inks dedicated to silk-screen printing and is developing brand new nanoparticles based inks tailored for inkjet. We are able to accompany our clients in their industrialization and customize our products to fit their specific needs, their equipment and their manufacturing process.”