Improving adhesion & linewidth control through plasma treatment

Improving adhesion & linewidth control through plasma treatment

How can plasma treatment can improve linewidth control & adhesion of inkjet-printed material onto a substrate?

Micro-patterning is widely used in the production of semiconductor devices, flat panel display devices, sensor devices, and so forth. In general, in order to pattern a material, the material is etched in a vacuum chamber, using reactive plasmas or wet etchants after the photolithographic patterning of the materials surface with a photoresist.

However, the conventional indirect patterning (using photolithography) is not only a complicated process, but also an expensive one; therefore, except for nanoscale semiconductor device processing, various direct patterning techniques, like screen printing, gravure printing, and inkjet printing are investigated.

Direct patterning has advantages in mass production, such as in-line and roll-to-roll processing; due to the use of low temperatures, it also can be applicable to polymer substrates , which are being intensively investigated as potential substrates for the next generation of flexible displays, wearable computers, and other electronic devices.

Many direct printing methods (such as screen, gravure, and inkjet printing) are being investigated; among these, contact printing methods – like screen and gravure printing—demonstrate a tendency to inflict some damage on the substrate and consume excessive ink in the printing process. Inkjet printing has advantages over the other direct printing techniques, due to the characteristic of being non-contact, and also because of its efficient use of ink.


How plasma treatment can improve linewidth control & adhesion of inkjet-printed material onto a substrate?

Linewidth Control and the Improved Adhesion of Inkjet-Printed Ag on Polyimide Substrate, Textured Using Near-Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas

In this paper, the effect of polyimide surface modification – using near-atmospheric pressure plasmas – on the line width and adhesion of inkjet-printed Ag (Silver) was investigated by texturing and modifying the chemical composition of the polyimide surface. The polyimide surface was textured with He/O, to increase the surface area of the polyimide substrate and it increased the water contact angle from 57 to 137°, when the textured polyimide surface was treated with a SF 6 plasma after the texturing process.

The textured polyimide surface also exhibited the increased adhesion strength of Ag film (by about two times), due to the increase in the contact area, as expected, according to the Wenzel model. The linewidth of the inkjet-printed Ag line decreased by about ten times from 330 mm (for the flat polyimide surface) to 23 mm (for the textured polyimide surface) in addition to having smoother line edges.


  • atmospheric pressure plasma
  • adhesion improvement
  • plasma jet
  • surface modification
  • linewidth control
  • inkjet printed material adhesion


Please click here to access the complete article on the Wiley publication site

Mu Kyeom Mun, Jin Woo Park and Geun Young Yeom* Article first published online: 8 FEB 2016 DOI: 10.1002/ppap.201500222 © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Categorised in: News & Events