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Inks for Printing Applications

Conductive Ink

Conductive ink is the ink that causes the printed object to conduct electricity, and it is also the main component of all printed electronic equipment. It is usually created by injecting graphite or other conductive materials into the ink. They arrange the basic device structure and integrated circuit interconnection.

Compared with the traditional industry standard (etched copper), conductive ink can be a more economical way to lay modern conductive traces, because printing is a purely additive process, with little or no production and then must be recycled or processed Waste stream.

The most common types of conductive inks are metal nanoparticle and particulate inks. Due to its good physical properties and electrical conductivity on plastic substrates, silver-based glues and colloids are widely used in electronic printing. Various other types of preferred metals include gold, platinum, copper and nickel. Carbon nanomaterial-based conductive ink has a large surface area and is chemically stable. Conductive polymer-based inks can provide stretchability and biocompatibility essential for bioelectronics.

Flow chart of synthesis of Cu nanoparticles and its application as ink. Fig 1. Flow chart of synthesis of Cu nanoparticles and its application as ink. (Abhinav K. V, et al. 2015)

Dielectric Ink

The functions of dielectric inks and coatings include protecting and enhancing the operation of conductive materials, improving energy storage devices, and enabling electronic devices to operate at bias voltages.

Dielectric inks are usually composed of organic polymers or ceramics in a solvent. New insulating 2D nanomaterials such as hexagonal boron nitride further provide electrochemical stability and temperature, which are important for solid-state batteries, field-effect transistors, as well as neuromorphic devices.

Semiconductor Ink

Semiconductor ink is the core component of printed electronic equipment, which determines the performance of the final equipment to a large extent. Conventional inorganic-based semiconductor inks include metal oxide and organic semiconductor inks.

Due to the mobility, bandgap and a series of other electronic properties of semiconductor inks, it plays a vital role in the construction of high-performance printed electronic devices. Many emerging inks based on 2D nanomaterials also provide direct band gaps, ease of manufacturing, and opportunities to manufacture novel vertically integrated electronic devices.


  1. Abhinav K. V, et al. (2015). "Copper Conductive Inks: Synthesis and Utilization in Flexible Electronics." RSC Adv. 5: 63985-64030.

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