Suitability of Paper-Based Substrates for Printed Electronics

Elina Jansson (Corresponding Author), Johanna Lyytikäinen, Panu Tanninen, Kim Eiroma, Ville Leminen, Kirsi Immonen, Liisa Hakola

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Abstract

Flexible plastic substrates are widely used in printed electronics; however, they cause major climate impacts and pose sustainability challenges. In recent years, paper-based electronics has been studied to increase the recyclability and sustainability of printed electronics. The aim of this paper is to analyze the printability and performance of metal conductor layers on different paper-based substrates using both flexography and screen printing and to compare the achieved performance with that of plastic foils. In addition, the re-pulpability potential of the used paper-based substrates is evaluated. As compared to the common polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate, the layer conductivity on paper-based substrates was found to be improved with both the printing methods without having a large influence on the detail rendering. This means that a certain surface roughness and porosity is needed for the improved ink transfer and optimum ink behavior on the surface of the substrate. In the case of uncoated paper-based substrates, the conductivity and print quality decreased by preventing the formation of the proper and intimate ink-substrate contact during the ink transfer. Finally, the re-pulpability trials together with layer quality analysis detected very good, coated substrate candidates for paper-based printed electronics competing with or even outperforming the print quality on the reference PET foil.
Original languageEnglish
Article number957
JournalMaterials
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Paper-based electronics
  • Printed electronics
  • Re-pulpability

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