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WCPC Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2017

13th Annual Technical Conference

Monday 06th - Tuesday 07th November 2017

Swansea Marriott Hotel,
Swansea, SA1 3SS

Keynote Speaker: Giuseppe Tripaldi - UTECO Group

Conference Registration

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This year the conference will be opened by Giuseppe Tripaldi, UTECO Group with additional speakers being Patrick Gane, Omya International AG, Martin Krebs, VARTA Microbattery GmbH and Paul Meredith, Department of Physics, Swansea University.

The conference is an opportunity to view the latest WCPC research in printing technology, to discuss the findings with researchers and to network with like-minded industrial delegates. Each presentation will be a technical paper based on latest results and analysis derived from controlled experiments and numerical models.

The conference is hosted by the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) in association with icmPrint Ltd. WCPC is a world renowned research centre dedicated to advancing the understanding and productivity of all aspects of printing and coating. WCPC enhances the understanding of the printing and coating processes, exploits novel manufacturing using printing and applies its scientific findings to the benefit of its global industrial partners. With extensive experience in packaging and graphics printing the WCPC has built on this knowledge and become a centre for functional materials, plastic electronics and bio printing.

The conference will be held at the Swansea Marriott Hotel, Swansea, SA1 3SS. The venue has ample free parking and accomodation is avaiable at a reduced rate up until 11th Septemeber 2017 - Book the group rate for the conference accommodation here.

The conference early bird fee is £400 + VAT (early bird rate available until 11th September 2017). Delegate rate after 11th September 2017 will be £450 + VAT.

WCPC associates will have one complimentary delegate seat and will be entitled to a discounted rate for any additional delegates that are registered and paid via the associate company. (The discounted rate will be £300 + VAT per delegate).

The delegate registration fee covers conference attendance, lunches, refreshments and conference dinner. (No accommodation is included in the fee and the booking of the accommodation is the responsibility of the delegate).

If you would like to take the opportunity to promote your service or product to the conference delegates, table top exhibitor space will be available in the refreshment and lunch area. Each exhibitor will be allocated an area to take a table top and roll up display. As space is limited, we would advise potential exhibitors to make a booking as early as possible. The cost of exhibiting is £250 + Vat in addition to the delegate fee of £450 (£700 + VAT).

Conference Agenda

Monday 06th November

09:00 Registration & Coffee
09:30 - 09:45 Welcome,
David Gethin, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
09:45 - 10:30 Keynote Presentation: Flexography for Packaging,
Giuseppe Tripaldi, UTECO Group
10:30 - 11:00 The Influence of Ink Rheology on Flexographic Printing Instabilities,
Miles Morgan, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
11:00 - 11:30 Networking Break
11:30 - 12:00 Importance of Rheology for Printed Electronics Inks,
James Claypole, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
12:00 - 12:30 Flexographically Printed Functional Materials,
Andrea Greenacre, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:15 Pore Network Structure and Surface Design: Capturing the Power of Pore-fluid Interaction for our Future in Printed Functionality,
Patrick Gane, Aalto University/Omya International AG
14:15 - 14:45 Study of the Influence of Calcium Carbonate in Polymers during the Additive Manufacturing Process,
Fabio Ippolito
14:45 - 15:15 Optimisation of Screen Printed Transparent Electrodes,
Sarah-Jane Potts, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
15:15 - 15:45 Networking Break
15:45 - 16:15 Fine Network of Conductive Tracks on Flexible Substrate,
John Lau, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
16:15 - 16:45 High Resolution Laser Induced Forward Transfer,
David Beynon, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
16:45 - 17:15 Industrial Coatings: The Story of Watching Paint Dry,
Emily Radley, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
17:15 - 17:45 The Effect of Graphite and Carbon Black Ratios on Conductive Ink Performance,
Chris Phillips, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
17:45 Round up of the day and close
19:30 Conference Dinner at the Marriott Hotel Swansea

Tuesday 07th November

09:00 - 09:45 Printed Batteries – from Primary to Secondary,
Martin Krebs, VARTA Microbattery GmbH
09:45 - 10:15 Performance of Printed Batteries,
Michael Wendler, HdM/Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
10:15 - 10:45 Corrosion Resistance of Screen Printed Metallic Current Collectors for Printed Thin Film Batteries with Alkaline Electrolytes,
Patrick Rassek, Stuttgart Media University, HdM/Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
10:45 - 11:15 Networking Break
11:15 - 11:45 Renewable Energy Storage – Secondary batteries using Seawater,
Lorn Jackson, Swansea University
11:45 - 12:15 The Application of Active and Intelligent Packaging to Detect Spoilt High Value Food Products and Extend the Life of Food Products',
Caitlin McCall, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
12:15 - 12:45 Printed-Sensor-on-Chip Technology,
Ben Clifford, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
12:45 - 13:45 Lunch
13:45 - 14:15 Scaling Physics of Printable Thin Film Solar Cells & Large Area Optoelectronics,
Paul Meredith, Swansea University
14:15 - 14:45 Title TBC,
Davide Deganello, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
14:45 - 15:15 Up-Scaling of Combined Planarizing and Insulating Layers on Rough Steel Substrates for Large Area Solar Cells,
Tatyana Korochkina, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
15:15 - 15:45 Effects of GNPs on Epoxy Resins,
David O’Connor, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
15:45 - 16:15 Networking Break
16:15 - 16:45 A Hybrid-carbon Ink for Strain Sensor Applications,
Joseph Morgan, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
16:45 - 17:15 Incorporating Functionalised NanoCarbons into Flexible Conductive Inks,
Andrew Claypole, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
17:15 - 17:45 Custom Electronics for Printed Electronic Devices,
Tim Mortensen, Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating
17:45 Round up and Close

"Flexography for Packaging"

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Giuseppe Tripaldi - UTECO Group

Flexography is a technology in continuous evolution; advances in speed, printing quality, set up time, substrates has made it the current leading technology in packaging; packaging market areas such as food and flexible are important in term of size, growth, but also in terms of safety regulation, environmental and public perception. This presentation will provide an extensive overview of recent advances in Flexographic technology and its market, with examples from UTECO experience

"The Influence of Ink Rheology on Flexographic Printing Instabilities"

Miles Morgan - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Uniformity is crucial in the printing of electronic devices to ensure optimum functional performance. Understanding the causes of non-uniformity in flexographic printing is therefore of great interest in the pursuit of low-cost, high volume printed electronics. However, this challenge is compounded by the rheological complexity of printable fluids for printed electronics. Several causes of non-uniformity originate in the surface instabilities that occur during the printing process, particularly at the nip, during substrate-plate separation. The present work seeks to understand the influence of ink rheology on print uniformity by formulating, characterising and printing model inks with a desire to link rheology, uniformity and functional print performance.

"Pore Network Structure and Surface Design: capturing the power of pore-fluid interaction for our future in printed functionality"

Prof. Dr. Patrick Gane – Omya International AG

At some stage in the production and conversion of paper, board and packaging, fluid (gas or liquid) will inevitably be introduced to or extracted from a porous medium. This may be in the formation of the fibre base product, during the application of a coating, printing, gluing, fluid permeation or lamination, barrier formation etc. It is, thus, vital not only to understand the individual process technologies but to formulate the mechanistic interactions involved in a sufficiently formalistic way, so as to apply the physics of fluid flow, pore capillarity, percolation and permeability, and to parameterise the physical chemistry controlling fluid-surface contact. The future of functional printing, in particular, depends on our ability to design and control the multitude of interactions between fluids and porous media.

We all recognise that the printing and packaging industry is facing many challenges, and thereby enjoying a raft of new opportunities ranging from the need to provide sustainable products, reduced transported weight and storage volume, together with the demand for increased product protection, longevity and the unending question of cost, as well increasing the attractiveness for the end consumer, including advanced optical effects. Based on the fundamentals of liquid-pore interaction, examples will be given how functional printing can be enhanced and supported by pore network structure design. Further new opportunities in providing tools for testing and vector delivery of novel pharmaceutical actives, for medical diagnostics, for agricultural micronutrient and crop protection treatments, and other analytical systems, based on microfluidics, will be illustrated, in turn providing greater dosage control, improved quality of analysis and spatial resolution, enhanced component identification and, importantly, reduced volumes of test analyte. Inclusion of micro and nanofibrillated cellulose in future nanocomposite coating designs adds an additional dimension in achievable material properties.

Capturing the benefits of current multifaceted research in the areas discussed in this address will help to unlock our future in creating major benefits in functionality derived from the behaviour of the basic material phases in our world – liquid/gas and solid/space – manifest in fluid-porous media interactions.

"Study of the Influence of Calcium Carbonate in Polymers during the Additive Manufacturing Process"

Fabio Ippolito – Omya International AG

There are various Additive Manufacturing processes available to produce a 3D layered products.
The selective laser sintering (SLS) process is one of the most established and widely used Additive Manufacturing approaches. It is a layer manufacturing process in which the layers of predefined geometry are made out of a powder bed by fusing them together using a laser beam.

With the evolution of various techniques for prototyping through to the production of actual end-use parts, there is a growing need to develop a much greater variety of materials suitable for the 3D printing environment, and to increase and/or change the properties of the end-product, including functionality, without high increase in production costs. Several aspects need to be considered during the development of a new compound, which is suitable for the selective laser sintering process.

In this study, the influence of an inorganic filler material in a polymer is investigated and its usage as a functional filler during the additive manufacturing process will be determined. Investigations such as the influence of the particle size of the filler material on the resultant compound properties, the surface modification of the inorganic particles and its effect in the compound, the different fabrication techniques for the composite production and their influence on the processability in 3D printing, etc. will be carried out.

This presentation will give an overview on the challenges and approaches for such an investigation as well as the first results on the manipulation of the properties of the produced compounds.

"Optimisation of Screen Printed Transparent Electrodes"

Sarah-Jane Potts – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Screen Printing is a very versatile and popular process, currently responsible for producing around 98% of printed electronics. Including, printed circuit boards, printed electroluminescent devices and photovoltaics. Currently, transparent conductive inks are being developed as a cheaper alternative top electrode in solar cells. Screen printable inks offer a promising solution due to the simplicity and low cost of screen printing. This study investigates the printability of a transparent, conductive, silver nanowire based screen printing ink is assessed to find the optimal drying and curing techniques for this ink including air drying, infrared drying and photonic curing as well as combinations of the methods.

The topographic 3d profiles of the prints were analysed using the Veeco NT9300 Wide Area White Light Interferometer with the 15x lens to analyse the print quality as well as record the average print heights and roughness’s. The microstructures of the printed silver nanowires were analysed using the Zeis EVO Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the JEOL 7800 FEG SEM to visualise and assess the orientation and dispersion of the printed silver nanowires. Additionally, the electrical characterisation of the prints was assessed using resistivity measurements conducted with a 4-point probe. Several drying induced defects were observed throughout the results including raised edges due to Marangoni effect, irregular edges, ghost lines around the edges, bubbles in the deposit due to gas evolution. The print with the least defects, adequate surface roughness and lowest resistivity was dried using the conveyor infrared dryer.

"Importance of ink rheology for high resolution screen printing"

John Lau – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Printed electronic devices such as electroluminescent displays, organic light emitting diodes, and photovoltaic devices, all require transparent, electronically conductive materials for their electrodes. In situations where flexible devices are desired, transparent electrodes produced from Indium doped Tin Oxide (ITO) coated polymer films have been a popular choice. Due to material scarcity, cost and the desire for greater device performance, alternatives to ITO could prove beneficial. One viable approach is to produce an electrode by combining highly transparent substrates with a fine printed grid of opaque, highly conductive metallic ink. This provides a great opportunity to fine tune the optical and electronic performance of the resulting electrode for specific applications.

The target for this project; printing a network of sub 30 micron, highly conductive fine tracks onto flexible substrates of over a meter squared in size could is technologically challenging process. In this study the printability of ultra-fine features through very high thread count mesh will be equated with the rheological properties of the ink. This work will bring together ASADA’s expertise of high resolution mesh screens combined with the advanced rheological characterisation expertise of the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating.

"Industrial Coatings: The story of watching Paint Dry"

Emily Radley – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Polyester melamine coatings are highly susceptible to changes in curing conditions that can lead to surface defects. The first part of this study has focused on quantitatively characterizing these differences by investigating the effect of changes in dwell time and oven temperatures on cure levels using microhardness and infra-red (FT-IR) spectroscopy.

The coatings investigated are made up of polyester with a melamine cross-linker. Melamine cross-linking can be measured using FT-IR spectroscopy as the transetherification reaction which occurs causes the loss of a methoxy group, by varying temperature and dwell time, a relationship between a higher peak metal temperature (PMT) and a higher cross-link density can be established. Notably, this shows how microhardness demonstrates a positive correlation between increased cross-link density and increased curing as demonstrated by an increase in hardness.

Using this technique, the second part of this work has investigated the effect these changes have on stress whitening. Stress whitening is a common aesthetic defect which has been a long standing issue when bending pre-coated metal to form products for the industrial market.

"The effect of graphite and carbon black ratios on conductive ink performance"

Dr Chris Phillips(a), Awadh Al-Ahmadi(b), Sarah-Jane Potts(a) – (a) Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, (b) Swansea University

Conductive inks based on graphite and carbon black are used in a host of applications including energy storage, energy harvesting, electrochemical sensors and printed heaters. This requires accurate control of electrical properties tailored to the application; ink formulation is a fundamental element of this. Data on how formulation relates to properties has tended to apply to only single types of conductor at any time, with data on mixed types of carbon only empirical thus far. Therefore screen printable carbon inks with differing graphite, carbon black and vinyl polymer content were formulated and printed to establish the effect on rheology, deposition and conductivity. The study found that at a high total carbon loading ink, optimal conductivity (0.029 Ω∙cm) was achieved at a graphite to carbon black ratio of 2.6 to 1. For a lower total carbon loading, this ratio was reduced to 1.8 to 1. Formulation affected viscosity and hence ink transfer and also surface roughness due to retention of features from the screen printing mesh and the inherent roughness of the carbon components, as well as the ability of features such as fine lines to be reproduced consistently.

"Printed Batteries – from primary to secondary"

Dr Martin Krebs – VARTA Microbattery GmbH

Today State-of-the-Art printed batteries PB’s are primary cells. The preferred electrochemical system is Zinc-Carbon. It consists of a Zinc metal anode and a Manganese dioxide cathode with a near-neutral electrolyte consisting of Zinc and Ammonium chloride. This system provide reliable, easy to print, cheap and environmental friendly batteries. The use is in so-called “disposable” applications were cheap printed products are used for a certain, short period of time and then disposed of.

Especially for higher value applications like sensors it may be useful to have rechargeable batteries. That concerns Smart Object where high value chips are integrated and which can be used repeatedly. So a higher turn-over and benefit for the environment can be generated.

In this talk possible electrochemical systems for rechargeable PB’s will be introduced and discussed. The most important parameters are material costs, processing and life time. Also different cell design will be shown and discussed. A special aspect will be the principle of reversibility of the electrodes and how that can be achieved.
Finally an outlook will be given on potential applications.

"Performance of Printed Batteries"

Michael Wendler, Tim Claypole, Erich Steiner, Martin Krebs

Keywords: printed battery, screen-printing, Zn/MnO2, Ni/MH

Batteries as primary and secondary sources of portable electrical power, have been in use for many years. Advanced electronic devices depend on availability of batteries. Especially for use in smart objects, like autonomous sensor systems, medical strips or RFID/NFC tags, thin and flexible energy storage devices are in great demand. The major development in this field within the past years has been the development of printed batteries. This category of batteries may be composed of different cell chemistries, with unique performance characteristics. The common feature is the use of printing processes in the production process. Differentiation comes from variation of the main cell configurations, stacked or coplanar, as well as the variation of the electrode shape.

The main objectives of battery research and development are to increase the useable power and energy of a battery system for a specific application. But, beside the electrical performance, at least as important are considerations related to cost, physical design, safety, environmental sustainability and reliability. These six factors are strongly dependent on the requirements of the application.

To determine battery performance, the capacity (the amount of charge [Q]), the open-circuit potential (OCP) and the cell impedances are dominant factors. Further parameters are discharge current, discharge time, ambient temperature as well as cut-off voltage at which the discharge process is stopped.

In this work, the galvanostatic discharge at constant current (CC) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) are used to investigate the performance of screen printed primary Zn/MnO2 and secondary Ni/MH batteries. The battery designs under test are coplanar (only Zn/MnO2) and stacked cell configurations.

The performance of screen printed primary Zn/MnO2 batteries will be demonstrated by means of a battery-powered NFC temperature logger, as an application example.

"Renewable Energy Storage – Secondary batteries using Seawater"

Lorn Jackson - Swansea University

The demand for large-scale renewable energy sources is ever increasing - being able to offer safer, cheaper and eco-friendly energy systems. However nearly all renewable energy sources work intermittently meaning that the demand of electricity may not coincide with the supply available.

For this reason, large-scale energy storage systems are needed to ensure that power demands are always able to be met. The biggest development in energy storage in recent years is lithium-ion based batteries. These offer high energy density solutions which make them favourable for devices such as portable electronics. However, there are disadvantages including risk of fire; transportation and loss of capacity over time.

However, where high energy density requirements are not required, there are a vast number of alternative solutions to storing the energy produced from the large-scale renewable energy storage systems. As the understanding and development of lithium-ion based batteries has developed considerably over recent years - one of the most efficient solutions is to apply this knowledge to sodium-ion based batteries. These batteries offer high compatibility to the currently used lithium-ion based batteries.

Sodium-ion based batteries offer an eco-friendly and cheaper based battery than lithium-ion. Furthermore, one of the most abundant places to acquire sodium-ions for these batteries is seawater. Seawater offers a whole new framework of battery based storage. When used in a sodium-ion based system, the seawater itself works as an open self-replenishing cathode; having a fully replenishing cathode potentially can allow for very large-scale capacity batteries.

The target of this project is to meet this potentially large-scale capacity with seawater batteries by being able to develop a compatible anode – the anode is currently the restrictive issue in seawater batteries. However, the fundamentals from the development of lithium-ion based anodes, has formed an extensive platform for the development of anodes for sodium-ion already offering compatibility solutions. Although due to the slight differences in the two metals with sodium-ions being larger; modifications are required to allow the anodes to fully accept and retain the ions from the seawater. One of the most abundant and cheapest materials which can be applied to both ion-based battery technologies is carbon. The carbon structure frameworks available are very effective as acting as anodes and have an extremely promising potential offer high capacity anodes to help match the open self-replenishing seawater cathode.

"Evaluation of the corrosion resistance of screen printed metallic current collectors for printed thin film batteries with aqueous alkaline electrolytes"

Patrick Rassek – HdM Stuttgart/WCPC

Aqueous electrolyte solutions made of dissolved potassium hydroxide (KOH) are predominantly used in alkaline primary and secondary electrochemical battery systems like nickel-metal hydride or manganese dioxide zinc. The benefits of aqueous KOH electrolytes with concentrations in the range of 35% to 52% are characterized by the high ionic conductivity along with a decreased internal resistance of the batteries and a reduced hydrogen gassing rate compared to battery systems containing acidic electrolytes (e.g. ZnCl2).

When used in printed thin film batteries, aqueous or gelled KOH electrolyte solutions consequently damage the printed metallic current collectors in short periods by corrosive and capacity consuming reactions if not covered by additional electrochemically inert protective coatings. The result of these corrosive reactions is a delamination of the current collectors from the mainly used plastic type substrates with an accompanied malfunction of the printed batteries.

In this study commercially available silver, carbon and graphene screen printing inks with different particle sizes, morphologies and loadings of solids content are evaluated with respect to corrosion resistance by printing battery current collectors and protective layers made of various material combinations and different layer thicknesses. Qualified material combinations with a preferably high corrosion resistance to the KOH electrolyte are identified by performing cyclic voltammetry (CV) experiments in a three-electrode set-up simulating charge and discharge cycles of printed batteries. It shall be investigated, whether the material characteristics or the printed layer thickness of the protective layers has the main impact on the corrosion resistance of screen printed current collectors.

The results of this study can be seen as a further step in improving the performance and life cycle of printed alkaline batteries. The extended corrosion resistance of current collectors is essential for an economical production of printed batteries with longer operating lives.

"The application of active and intelligent packaging to detect spoilt high value food products and extend the life of food products"

Caitlin McCall – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Each year there are millions of tons of waste causing detrimental environmental impacts. Major global leaders are taking on more social responsibility in conserving the planets resources and in turn there is an increasing demand for advances in the prevention and detection of spoilt food and the use of biodegradable or recyclable materials. Additionally, spoilt food can have serious health implications for the consumer.

The development of intelligent and active packaging will enable food to last longer, products tracked throughout the manufacturing and distribution processes, and will aid in the detection of the quality of food to minimise the likelihood of illness.

The overall aim of this project is to design a recyclable or biodegradable packaging system that has the ability to contain a food, ensure that the food is monitored and through use of intelligent and active packaging, extend the product life. Specifically, this project will look at the use of an integrated printed antenna and microbial detection system to communicate with an RFID reader. The packaging systems must be fully printable, with methods reported, and repeatable results are achievable. The system will be miniaturised, yet achieve a high efficiency to match current system as a minimum requirement. The integration of multiple technologies to give the packaging multi-detection capability including moisture control, oxygen control, pH level control, RFID tracking, security checking, and temperature monitoring will be key in this project. The sensors shall cover a small area, have a wide operating temperature range and high efficiency. The printed antennas combined with a silicon chip will transmit the signal from the sensor to an RFID reader. Compatibility, miniaturisation and the distance at which the antenna can be read from will be key considerations with regards to the antenna development. Current testing has been done with silver inks using Flexographic printing. Further work will look at the compatibility of the chip and antenna, and then aiming to miniaturise the chip.

"Printed Sensor on Chip Technology"

Dr Ben Clifford – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Keywords: Sensor-on-Chip; Aerosol Jet Deposition; Printed Electronics; Humidity Sensor; Nafion

This presentation will discuss the development of an aerosol jet printed sensing platform integrating elements of silicon and printed electronics. To demonstrate the technology, thin film humidity sensors have been fabricated over the top surface and sides of pre-packaged integrated circuits using a combination of direct-write aerosol jet deposition and drop-casting. The resistive based sensor consists of an aerosol jet deposited interdigitated nano-particle silver electrode structure overlaid with a thin film of Nafion® acting as a humidity sensitive layer. The fabricated sensor displayed a strong response to changes in relative humidity over the tested range (40% RH to 80% RH) and showed a low level of hysteresis whilst undergoing cyclic testing. The successful fabrication of relative humidity sensors over the surface and pins of a packaged integrated circuit demonstrates a new level of integration between printed and silicon based electronics − leading to Printed-Sensor-on-Chip devices. Whilst demonstrated for humidity, the proposed concept is envisaged to work as a platform for a wide range of applications, from bio-sensing to temperature or gas monitoring.

"Scaling Physics of Printable Thin Film Solar Cells & Large Area Optoelectronics"

Prof. Paul Meredith – Swansea University

Organic solar cells and organohalide perovskite solar cells share several common electro-optical operating principles [1]. Both families of devices operate within the thin film, low finesse cavity limit and there are also commonalities in electrodes and ancillary layer materials and structures [2]. It is therefore not surprising that organic and organohalide perovskite solar cells are subject to the same scaling physics considerations, i.e. the physical mechanisms that come into play in retaining performance and efficiency in large area devices, particularly those deposited by printing or other solution processing methods. A simple example of such physics is the limitation in the size of ‘maximum carrier collection path length’ which is dominated by the sheet resistance of the transparent conducting electrode and shown to be ~ 1-2 cm for commonly used 15 ohm/sq indium tin oxide [3]. This phenomenon has meant that the majority of large area organic solar cells are invariably serially interconnected thin strips.

In my talk I will review these scaling physics considerations and explain their basic origin in terms of electro-optics and transport phenomena in both organic and organohalide perovskite solar cells. I will explore how the limitations of scaling physics can potentially be overcome and demonstrate so-called large area ‘monolithic architectures’ which retain their fill factor and hence power conversion efficiency up to 5 cm x 5 cm. Addressing the scaling physics in next generation thin film solar cells is an essential part of endeavors to create viable modules and hence progress low cost manufacturing and ultimately commercialization of printed solar cells. In addition, the same scaling physics comes into play when considering other optoelectronic platforms such as photodetectors and large area lighting.

[1] Lin et al. Nature Photonics, 9, 106-112 (2015);
[2] Armin et al. ACS Photonics, 1(3), 173-181 (2014);
[3] Jin et al. Advanced Energy Materials, 2(11), 1338-1342 (2012).

"Up-scaling of combined planarizing and insulating layers on rough steel substrates for large area solar cells."

Dr Tatyana Korochkina, Prof. David Gethin – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Keywords: Building Integrated Photovoltaics, printing, coating, steel substrates, intermediate layer

The versatility of printing technologies and their intrinsic ability to outperform other techniques in large-area deposition gives scope to revolutionize the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) manufacturing field. Printing methods are commonly used in conventional silicon-based PVs to cover part of the production process. Screen printing techniques, for example, are applied to deposit electrical contacts on the silicon wafer. However, it is with the advent of third generation PVs that printing/coating techniques have been extensively used in almost all of the manufacturing processes. In particular, printing technology has received significant attention in recent years as a means of realizing large area PVs. Printing offers the promise of allowing the delivery of PVs with low fabrication cost per unit area and is also highly compatible with large area steel substrates. Among all the third generation PVs the thin-film solar cells (TFSC) such as chalcopyrite (CIGS), amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and organic (OPV) show great potential for BIPVs. In order to greatly accelerate their applications and commercialization in BIPVs large-area functionalised steel substrates are needed.

Printing and coating techniques, such as bar coating and screen printing, were developed for an effective scale-up of the technology. The latter also enables the manufacture of solar modules on semi-rigid/flexible substrates, an option beneficial for many applications and for roll-to-roll production. In this study functionalised steels were fabricated by large scale printing and coating methods in ambient environment (humility ∼50%, temperature ∼20 °C), which produced steel/intermediate layer (IL) lengths as long as 30 cm and 50 m. Furthermore, two different functional layers such as SiOx and solvent resistant dielectric were successfully used to fabricate demonstrators on four “rough” steel substrates and showed good/moderate performance with TFSC. Results of extensive characterisation of two ILs printed onto four steel substrates, such as AISI430 stainless steel, and DX51D bare cold rolled low carbon steel as well as DX51D hot-dip galvanized with Zn or Al which was cold rolled to achieve the desired final thickness, are reported. We have highlighted critical challenges in achieving smooth insulating IL on large scale. This study provides low-cost, large-scale techniques to fabricate large-area functionalised steels with great potential applications in BIPVs.

"The effect of plasma functionalisation on the dispersion and print quality of graphene nanoplatelet based inks."

Andrew Claypole – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Graphene has been an area of high interest in recent years due to its well documented thermal, mechanical and electrical properties. Graphene nanoplatelets consist of between 5-100 layers of graphene and could provide a cost-effective alternative to single layer graphene. These graphene nanoplatelets are typically 50nm thick and up to 5um long and this high aspect ratio gives the platelets a very high specific surface area which when coupled with carbon’s relative inert nature give the platelets a high tendency to agglomerate due to van der Waals forces. This can lead to the formation of doublets or higher multiplets which increase viscosity as they trap matrix material increasing the diversion of flow within the suspension. Therefore, the ability to disperse these materials is of high importance if they are to be utilized in a mass manufacture process such as printing. One way of improving the dispersion of these platelets is to modify the surface of these nanoparticles, adding chemical groups to the surface to create a charge of long enough range to overcome the short-range van der Waals forces, or to add chemical groups that have a high chemical affinity for the polymer, allowing the polymer to fully wet onto the surface of the particles helping to hold them far enough apart to overcome the van der Waals attraction. In plasma functionalisation particles are passed through a high energy plasma, within a vacuum, which bombards the surface removing any contamination and creating sites for new functional groups to attach. By changing the plasma process gas, you can add different chemical groups to the surface of the GNPs and this paper looks to use rheological measurements and print analysis to examine the effect that the addition of different functional groups has upon the dispersion and subsequent performance of inks incorporating graphene nanoplatelets.

"Custom electronics for printed electronic devices"

Dr. Tim Mortensen – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

As printed electronic devices become increasingly capable it becomes crucial to create affordable and robust connections between substrate and the power sources and control electronics required for them to operate. Many of these devices are connected to conventional electronics and the interface between the substrate and the printed circuit board (PCB) can be a stumbling block in operation.

We’ve worked on a number of solutions for allowing printed circuits to be connected either temporarily for testing purposes, or permanently in the creation of complete devices. This presentation will showcase a number of connection methods and highlight key design considerations when creating a hybrid printed and conventional electronic devices.

Giuseppe Tripaldi, UTECO Group

Giuseppe is the R&D manager for UTECO, International leading press manufacturer for flexographic presses and packaging solutions. In his position, Giuseppe leads the development of new printing technologies and novel applications.

A lifelong experience and love for "precision mechanics", Giuseppe started to work in the press manufacturing industry in 1992, acquiring over the years wide expertise on modern printing and packaging technologies.

Together with "manufacturing" elements, Giuseppe has developed key expertise on graphics, flexible packaging, food packaging, their requirements and International standards.

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Miles Morgan - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Miles is studying for a PhD in Nanotechnology at the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) in Swansea University. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics and completed a master’s degree in nanotechnology at Swansea University, during which he worked at the WCPC to enhance transparent conducting films containing carbon nanomaterials. Presently he is studying the influence of ink rheology and surface instabilities on roll-to-roll printing, a process with great potential for the mass production of printed electronics.

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Andrea Greenacre - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Andrea is working towards an EngD in Materials Engineering within the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) in collaboration with icmPrint. She obtained an MEng in Mechanical Engineering, first class honours in 2015 from Swansea University, and completed a summer work placement with Babcock International Group in 2014. Her current work involves flexographic printing of functional materials, particularly geared towards smart packaging, as well as expanding the colour gamut of flexography.

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Patrick Gane - Aalto University/Omya International AG

Patrick GaneBorn in 1953 and schooled in England, is Professor of Printing Technology at the School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland (2006 -), and Vice President Special Projects at Omya International AG, Switzerland (1995 -). He graduated in Physics in 1976 from Imperial College, London, and gained his doctorate from the University of Plymouth in 1979, and granted a postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Exeter.

1994 saw him co-establish the print test equipment company, SeGan Ltd., further developing the Ink Surface Interaction Tester (ISIT), recognized as a research tool in leading laboratories worldwide. He remained as a Company Director until 2007.

He is credited with more than 230 scientific publications and is a named inventor on over 200 corporate patents.

His first Tappi Award was received in 1997 from the Tappi Printing and Graphic Arts Division (Technical Award), and he was elected Tappi Fellow in 2013. He is a two-times winner of the Swedish Kempe Prize, awarded for his corporate and university research groups’ work, respectively, on the development of high speed inkjet print media. He contributes widely to peer reviews for scientific journals, has been and is a member of the scientific committees of selected journals and conferences, and is currently technical programme chair on the Board of iarigai.

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Fabio Ippolito – Omya International AG

Fabio Ippolito received his B.Sc in chemical engineering MLS from the University of Applied Science Muttenz in 2012. Since then, Fabio works as a scientist at Omya International AG in the additive mineral development department, working on the research and development of new pigment-systems for known as well as new applications.

Since October 2015 Fabio is enrolled as a part-time PhD-Student at Swansea University focusing on the influence of calcium carbonate in polymers during the additive manufacturing process. His studies are supported and sponsored by Omya International AG.

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Sarah-Jane Potts - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Sarah-Jane is currently studying for an EngD in Materials Engineering at the Welsh Centre of Printing and Coating (WCPC) at Swansea University. She has a Master’s Degree (MEng) in Product Design Engineering from Swansea University which she completed in 2015. Since starting her EngD.

Sarah-Jane has partaken a number of materials engineering, management and chemistry based modules as well as conducted research for her project on screen printing for icmPrint Consortium. Currently, Sarah-Jane’s work focuses on investigating the mathematical relationship between ink rheology and printing parameter settings for screen printing. This will enable predictive methods to be developed for producing optimal print properties.

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John Lau - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Yin Cheung Lau (John) received the MEng degree in Chemical Engineering from Swansea University in 2013. He as previously interned with Bayer Material Science and Haemair Ltd. He is currently pursuing the EngD degree in Materials Engineering at Swansea University and his current research interest is the fabrication of conductive patterns on flexible substrates.

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Dr David Beynon - SPECIFIC

David is a Research Officer based in Swansea Universities SPECIFIC group. Having completed a PhD researching ink transfer mechanisms in flexographic printing David’s research interests have grown to include graphics, electronic and functional printed materials. Recent projects have included printed functional devices including electromagnetics, sensors and rheological characterisation of functional inks working in collaboration with academic and industrial partners. David is currently working on upscaling and roll to roll production of perovskite solar cells.

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Emily Radley - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Emily is a third year Materials Science EngD student currently working in partnership with Becker Industrial Coatings acting as her sponsor company. Her original degree is in Chemistry from the University of Sussex, meaning Emily has undergone an inter-disciplinary approach to her project.

Emily is working towards solving the problem of stress whitening in pre-coated metal systems. This has involved investigating mechanical and chemical properties of coatings and pre-coated metal systems.

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Dr Chris Phillips - Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Chris has recently been appointed as a lecturer in engineering in Swansea University and is continuing his research with WCPC with a focus on functional ink development, with emphasis on carbon materials, and energy storage applications.

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Dr Martin Krebs – VARTA Microbattery GmbH

Martin is currently manager of Innovative Projects and is the supervisor of the Patent Department, he is also a representative of VARTA Microbattery in the Organic Electronic Association OE-A.

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Michael Wendler – Stuttgart Media University HdM

Michael Wendler started his print technology expertise with a vocational training in Screen Printing Technology in 1998. After his studies on Print and Media Technologies he received his Engineer degree from Stuttgart Media University (HdM) in 2007. Since April 2012 Michael is enrolled as part-time PhD-Student at Swansea University focussing on research of screen-printed batteries. His studies are supported and sponsored by VARTA Microbattery GmbH. Michael co-founded ELMERIC functional printing GmbH in may 2014. An innovative company which link electrical engineering to print technologies

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Patrick Rassek – HdM Stuttgart/WCPC

Patrick received his M.Sc. in Print and Media Technology from Stuttgart Media University in 2013. He started his studies in the field of screen printed energy storage systems in 2012 at Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg before joining the department of Innovative Applications of the Printing Technologies IAD of Stuttgart Media University in January 2014. Since April 2017, Patrick is enrolled as a PhD student at Swansea University focusing on the research of screen printed zinc-air batteries. His research studies are supported by ELMERIC – functional printing.

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Lorn Jackson – Swansea University

Lorn is currently studying for a PhD in Materials Engineering with Prof S. Margadonna and Dr D.Deganello at Swansea University. He has a Bachelor of Engineering with a Year in Industry (BEng) in Materials Science and Engineering which he completed in 2016. For his PhD, Lorn is researching for new concepts for advanced large-scale energy storage systems, with emphasis on developing carbon-based electrodes for sodium-ion batteries from renewable sources.

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Caitlin McCall – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Caitlin is currently in her second year of the EngD scheme at Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A), Swansea University. She holds a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering (MEng) from Swansea University. Caitlin also spent a year in industry working for Cummins, a diesel engine manufacturing company.

She worked with WCPC for her undergraduate dissertation on the paper ‘3D printed lab on a chip with microelectronics and silicon integration’ and stayed to continue the project with the company. Since graduating, Caitlin has begun her EngD project with icmPrint, studying in the field of Active and Intelligent Packaging, which is also in association with WCPC.

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Dr Ben Clifford – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Ben Clifford is a research assistant at the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating in the College of Engineering, Swansea University. He recently submitted his Ph.D thesis titled "Optimisation of Aerosol Jet Deposition for the Development of Printed Electronics" (Swansea University, 2016). His research is primarily focused on applications of aerosol jet deposition but includes direct-write fabrication technologies, materials development and process optimisation.

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Professor Paul Meredith – Swansea University

Professor Meredith is the Sêr Cymru Research Chair in Sustainable Advanced Materials at Swansea University Department of Physics in the United Kingdom. He is also a visiting Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia, and formerly an Australian Research Council Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award Fellow. He was educated in the UK at Swansea, Heriot-Watt and Cambridge Universities, and also spent six years as a senior scientist at Proctor and Gamble. His current research involves the development of new sustainable high-tech materials for applications such as optoelectronics and bioelectronics. Professor Meredith has published >200 papers and 28 patents, and is co-founder of several start-up companies including XeroCoat and Brisbane Materials Technology. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Premier of Queensland’s Sustainability Award (2013) and is widely recognised for his contributions to innovation and the promotion of renewable energy. He serves on several advisory bodies and boards including the Queensland Renewable Energy Target Public Enquiry Expert Panel and the ARENA Solar R&D Program Technical Advisory Board.

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Dr Davide Deganello – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Dr Davide Deganello is associate professor in the college of Engineering, SU. He is based within WCPC and his research is focussed on advanced manufacturing by functional printing and additive processing for energy storage, electronic and biomedical applications; as well as the study of underlining complex fluids rheology. Davide is currently PI for an EPSRC award (£450.000) for advanced large-scale energy storage (EP/N013727/1). Further recent projects include an EPSRC first grant on surface instabilities in roll-to-roll printing (EP/M008827/1, 2016 ), EPSRC CimLAE funded Pathfinder project on laser induced forward transfer (SIMLIFT, 2017). Davide has recently participated as investigator to the HaRFest project (2016), an Innovate UK co-funded collaborative project, in collaboration with PragmatIC, CPI, Cambridge University, CimLAE, aimed to investigate scale production of energy harvesting modules. As investigator, Davide has also been named in more than 10 projects, including NIHR funded project for printed diagnostic devices for human cytomegalovirus in newborn babies. Davide’s research has led to patents and a number of publications in leading international journals.

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Dr Tatyana Korochkina – WCPC – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Tatyana obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Voronezh, Russia in 1978. She worked for the Metal-Polymer Research Institute of Belarus Academy of Sciences from 1978 to 1999, while also completing her PhD. Since 1999, Tatyana has been a senior researcher in the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating. Her areas of expertise include both numerical modelling and experimental investigation in all aspects of the process for different applications including printed electronics, sensors and energy harvesting. Currently she is involved in functionalisation by printing of low cost steel foils by adding an insulating and planarising layer to be used as substrates for thin-film Organic, CIGS and a-Si:H PV technologies.

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David O’Connor – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

David is a first year EngD student at the WCPC, sponsored by EPSRC on the M2A scheme. In 2016 he completed his first degree at Swansea University in Mechanical Engineering, before working with Haydale Ltd, as research assistant, on pressure sensor technology. He has a background in areas such as electronics, programming, product design, manufacturing, 3D printing, and polymer composites manufacture. David’s current research interests are focused around nano-particle ink formulations for industrial printing and coating applications.

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Joseph Morgan – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Joseph Morgan is a postgraduate research student in the Welsh Centre of Printing and Coating (WCPC) at Swansea University and a member of the M2A Academy. Joseph attained a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (1st Class Hons.) from Swansea University in 2014 and is currently working toward an Engineering Doctorate within the WCPC.

The EngD scheme is a full scholarship which is partly funded through a sponsor company ‘Haydale Ltd’ and ‘MATTER’. He has represented both the WCPC and Haydale Ltd. at the annual LOPE-C printed electronics conference and exhibition in Munich, Germany.

In this current position, Joseph has undertaken a number of masters level modules to broaden the knowledge gained during his time as an undergraduate student and enable him to work towards developing new technologies through experimental research within the printed electronics sector. His current project incorporates intelligent formulation, processing, characterisation and development of carbon nanomaterial inks, with the aim to commercialise a hybrid-carbon strain sensor ink through Haydlae Ltd. in the future. Joseph has an interest in taking research ideas through to production whilst minimising environmental impact through intelligent engineering solutions and strives to consider potential implications of the technologies he is investigating.

Whilst not undertaking research at the university, Joseph spends time at the sponsor company site making use of their advanced laboratory facilities and developing a working knowledge of the company and small-scale manufacturing in this sector.

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Andrew Claypole – Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating

Andrew obtained first class honours in Sports Science and Engineering at Swansea University. Having spent time as an undergraduate gaining experience working within the prestigious Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC). Following his third-year project in which he was offered the opportunity to further develop printed technologies for wearable applications for his EngD in Materials engineering at the Materials to Manufacture Academy, Swansea University, funded by Haydale. Working within the world leading print research group at WCPC will give Andrew access to their fantastic research facilities at Swansea University’s new Innovation Bay Campus, as well as the facilities of their worldwide partners, allowing not only for ink and process optimisation through analytical techniques but also analysis of device performance. Working in collaboration with the A-STEM sports research group at Swansea University, Andrew will utilise his background in sports science to perform physiological experiments to help him optimise device design to maximise the sporting performance benefits. Andrew has been working closely with Haydale to investigate the effect that plasma functionalisation has upon the print, rheological and electrical performance of graphene enabled inks for use within wearable technology.

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Tim Mortensen - WCPC

Tim studied in the physics department at Swansea university and obtained an MPhys degree and a PhD in experimental physics before taking on a post-doctoral role in the GBar experiment in Paris. The GBar experiment aims to better understand the effect of gravity on antimatter and required the creation of a wide range of bespoke high performance hardware and accompanying software interfaces. The combination of his PhD and subsequent research gave Tim a great deal of experience developing these custom devices. This experience has proved key when in 2014 Tim accepted a role at the WCPC working to produce a novel design of printed pressure sensors with a custom computer interface. Since this initial project Tim has worked on a range of printed electronic devices developing wireless energy harvesting systems and low cost smart packaging to more recently working to bring a range of printable carbon based devices to market.

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