Aerosol Jet Printing of Graphene and Carbon Nanotube Patterns on Realistically Rugged Substrates
Reinhard Kaindl, Tushar Gupta, Alexander Blümel , Songfeng Pei, Peng-Xiang Hou, Jinhong Du, Chang Liu, Paul Patter, Karl Popovic, David Dergez, Kenan Elibol, Erhard Schafler, Johan Liu, Dominik Eder, Dietmar Kieslinger, Wencai Ren, Paul Hartmann, Wolfgang Waldhauser, and Bernhard C. Bayer
ACS Omega 2021 6 (50), 34301-34313, 12/2021
Direct-write additive manufacturing of graphene and carbon nanotube (CNT) patterns by aerosol jet printing (AJP) is promising for the creation of thermal and electrical interconnects in (opto)electronics. In realistic application scenarios, this however often requires deposition of graphene and CNT patterns on rugged substrates such as, for example, roughly machined and surface-oxidized metal block heat sinks. Most AJP of graphene/CNT patterns has thus far however concentrated on flat wafer- or foil-type substrates. Here, we demonstrate AJP of graphene and single walled CNT (SWCNT) patterns on realistically rugged plasma-electrolytic-oxidized (PEO) Al blocks, which are promising heat sink materials. We show that AJP on the rugged substrates offers line resolution of down to ∼40 μm width for single AJP passes, however, at the cost of noncomplete substrate coverage including noncovered μm-sized pores in the PEO Al blocks. With multiple AJP passes, full coverage including coverage of the pores is, however, readily achieved. Comparing archetypical aqueous and organic graphene and SWCNT inks, we show that the choice of the ink system drastically influences the nanocarbon AJP parameter window, deposit microstructure including crystalline quality, compactness of deposit, and inter/intrapass layer adhesion for multiple passes. Simple electrical characterization indicates aqueous graphene inks as the most promising choice for AJP-deposited electrical interconnect applications. Our parameter space screening thereby forms a framework for rational process development for graphene and SWCNT AJP on application-relevant, rugged substrates.