Design and development of a roll-to-roll machine for continuous high-speed microcontact printing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
David E. Hardt.
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Microcontact printing ([mu]CP) is an emerging technique for patterning micro-scale features for electronics, optics, surface modifications, and a variety of other applications. Its many advantages over traditional techniques like photolithography include lower cost, ability to pattern on non-planar surfaces, and compatibility with a variety of materials. Low production rates are one of the major limitations, as the process remains primarily a lab-scale technique at this point. Commercialization of the process depends on the development of innovative ways of applying the techniques to fast and flexible process paradigms. This thesis proposes the use of roll-to-roll techniques to increase the throughput, flexibility, and printable area for [mu]CP, while maintaining high quality outputs. A three-part literature review is presented comprising microcontact printing, traditional printing techniques, and roll-to-roll web handling best practices. The development of a printing machine and continuous etching machine used to explore the application of [mu]CP in a high-speed roll-to-roll paradigm is then detailed. Finally, the results of the experimentation carried out are documented including effects on quality and limitations for high throughputs. It is concluded that roll-to-roll microcontact printing can produce high quality results over large areas at rates up to 400 feet per minute and possibly beyond.
Thesis (M. Eng.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 120-121).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology