CPI enhances printed electronics capability with photonic curing system from NovaCentrix
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a UK-based technology innovation centre, has recently partnered with the American-based equipment manufacturer NovaCentrix to install a specialist system designed for the high-speed photonic curing of printed electronics inks. The NovaCentrix PulseForge 1300 state-of-the-art system is the first of its kind in the UK to be available to clients on an open access basis and will aid the commercialisation of a host of applications including printed sensing, RFID and NFC antennas for smart packaging. The recent installation builds upon CPI’s existing capability for the market adoption of printed sensing technologies, allowing companies to develop and scale up their concepts from laboratory scale right through to pilot production.
Photonic curing has become a critical process in the manufacture of printed electronics products as very little energy is needed to sinter the inks to a high temperature. This allows for printed circuits to be produced on inexpensive and flexible materials such as plastic, paper, or cardboard, whilst achieving excellent conductivity and without causing thermal damage to these materials.
The NovaCentrix PulseForge tool at CPI uses specialist computer-controlled high-intensity pulsed light technology enabling conductive inks to be sintered or annealed in a matter of milliseconds. The tool also provides the opportunity for comparably low cost inks formulated from copper-oxide and the rapid development of new printable electronics applications. Processing developed with the PulseForge 1300 at CPI can immediately be applied to volume production using the PulseForge platforms already in use for the manufacturing of products sold worldwide.