Flexible pigment-cellulose nanofibril composites for printed electronics applications: Dissertation

    Research output: ThesisDissertationMonograph


    The aim of this work was to expand the possibilities of novel use of cellulose micro- and nanofibrils (CMNF) for bio-based composites. The new approach in this work was to combine inorganic pigments and CMNF in a relatively wide range of component combinations for the generation of -pigment-cellulose micro- and nanofibril (PCMNF) composites. The amount of CMNF in these studies varied between 20 and 50 wt-% in the studied composites. The main focus of the work was on clarifying the relationship between the raw materials used and the composite structural properties of the final product, such as smoothness and porosity. The influence of manufacturing process steps on the composite properties was studied experimentally in both laboratory and semi-pilot scale. The composites were manufactured by vacuum filtration in laboratory scale and by film casting in semi-pilot scale, in both cases followed by wet pressing, drying, and calendering. Based on feasibility studies including techno-economic and life-cycle assessment, new product opportunities and markets can be captured with PCMNF composites for printed electronics applications. There is nowadays a growing need for the production of flexible, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly substrates for printed electronics applications. CMNF as a raw material has attracted significant interest in this field. In this work, different functional devices were manufactured as proof-of-concept structures to demonstrate the usability of the developed composites for printed electronics applications. The studied proof-of-concepts were: 1) ink-jet printing with a silvernanoparticle ink, 2) double-functional separator substrate for printed supercapacitors, 3) an ion-modulated transistor deposited on the substrate, and 4) screen printed antennas using silver ink and a commercial radio frequency identification (RFID) chip attached using a silver epoxy resin as a functional near field communication RFID tag on the substrate. The developed PCMNF composites have a nanoporous pigment-CMNF network structure that allows controlled ink absorption properties. The required substrate porosity and smoothness strongly depend on the used printing method, ink, solvent, and device design. The PCMNF composites offer a sustainable substrate for printed electronics applications to be used at high temperatures that only very special plastic films can currently withstand.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Åbo Akademi University
    • Saarinen, Jarkko J., Supervisor, External person
    • Toivakka, Martti, Supervisor, External person
    Award date27 Oct 2017
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Print ISBNs978-951-38-8571-7
    Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-8570-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


    • cellulose nanofibrils
    • cellulose microfibrils
    • nanocellulose
    • composite
    • films
    • printed electronics
    • mineral pigment
    • casting method
    • substrate


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