Aerosol Jet Deposited Conductors and Dielectrics for Rapid Fabrication of Heterogeneous Electronic Systems
Abstract: This thesis
describes a new method of rapid manufacturing complex printed circuit boards (PCB) using
aerosol jet deposition of both conductors and insulators. A process for the rapid
manufacturing of complex multilayer circuit boards, specifically a transceiver circuit,
with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) integration is demonstrated leveraging the aerosol
jet printing system. This ... read moreresearch provides a method for making a system-on-a-chip
circuit on a variety of substrates with novel integration methods while minimizing
spatial and geometric interference to the broader device. A unique manufacturing process
was developed for non-embedded components which involves the building up of the circuit
around the system's microprocessor. This technique, in conjunction with board redesign,
could be employed to eliminate the need for conductive epoxy attachment of COTS
components. The transceiver circuit and its microprocessor, based off a commercially
available circuit, were successfully programmed and the program executes. The radio
frequency (RF) matching network proved more challenging to produce. Dielectric thickness
consistency appears to be a primary issue in the implementation of the RF network. To
the best of the researchers' knowledge, this research is novel in that it is the
multilayer circuit with the most functional capability that has been built using aerosol
jet printing technology. The fabrication process for the board, including component
placement, has been streamlined to take approximately 10-12 hours. Improvement of board
fabrication yield, currently around 25%, is under investigation. Multiple possible
strategies are available to improve yield. In this work, we demonstrate a proof of
concept functional prototype. The work was extended to the evaluation of long-term
reliability and applicability to other non-planar geometries including a MEMS acoustic
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Robert White.
Committee: Brian Smith, and Gary Leisk.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, and Materials Science.read less