Put your own sintering projects to the test

Electronic circuitry – such as RFID antennas, batteries, organic LEDs, solar cells and storage media – are being printed on flexible substrates such as paper, film or fabrics for the growing market of printed electronics. Metallic nanoparticle inks are commonly used as conductor paths. These achieve good conductivity when sintered after printing.

Sintering is understood as being a method of “baking” powdered materials to a solid below their typical melting point. Photonic sintering is possible due to the special properties of nanoparticles which have a size of between 1 and a few 100 nanometers. After the successful sintering process, the properties correspond to those of “normal” material.

In contrast to thermal sintering, where the sintering process takes place under the impact of heat in so-called sinter furnaces, pulsed light is used for photonic sintering.

Xenon flash lamps are particularly suitable for photonic sintering processes. A high amount of energy is applied to the material to be sintered within a short space of time; the heat is transferred from the metal to the substrate which, due to the short pulse duration, is below the threshold that would damage the substrate. The wide spectrum of the xenon light enables many different materials to be processed. The scalability of the lamps means they can be optimally adjusted to suit the cycle times in process chains.

Sintering Test Center at Polytec

Polytec offers a range of sinter systems based on xenon flash lamps for a multitude of applications – ranging from the low cost solution, flexible and powerful systems and suitable linear tables through to roll-to-roll systems.

As the European test center for photonic sintering for the US partner company Xenon Corp., Polytec offers you the technical prerequisites to test photonic sintering. Extensive experience with silver and copper-based nanoparticle inks on diverse substrates such as paper, PE and PU plastic films, glass and other materials, for example, represents the best conditions for your sintering tests. In addition to the process itself, versatile methods are available to you for the purpose of evaluating results. The important parameters required to assess and optimize the sintering result can be determined at Polytec – from the simple consideration of the microscopic structure of the sintered inks, through to two or four peak measurements for conductivity and resistance.

Talk to us about your special sintering project. Our experience will take you further!