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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K008633/1
Title: Towards Sinter-free Printing of Photovoltaic Cell Interconnects
Principal Investigator: Sutcliffe, Professor CJ
Other Investigators:
Chalker, Professor PR Bertola, Dr V
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr K Black
Project Partners:
Dupont IMRC:A Centre for Innovative Manufacture NSG
OpTek Systems Renishaw SAFC Hitech
Department: Centre for Materials and Structures
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2012 Ends: 30 September 2015 Value (£): 364,495
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Manufacturing
Related Grants:
EP/K009478/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
31 Jul 2012 Engineering Prioritisation Meeting - 31 July Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Metal thin films are used in a wide variety of technologies, such as solar cells and printed circuit boards for electronics. Inkjet printing has emerged as a practical and low-cost route for manufacturing electrical contacts in these applications. However existing manufacturing technologies use inks that often require a final heat treatment to consolidate or 'sinter' the film. If this last step can be eliminated, by depositing fully dense films, then the inkjet manufacturing process could be applied to temperature sensitive substrates like plastics or vulnerable semiconductor materials.

The purpose of this project is to develop 'sinter-free' inkjet manufacturing processes, by taking ink precursors developed for other thin film processes, and exploiting them to use the significant benefits of inkjet process technology e.g. the direct writing of interconnects or wires. If successful, the project will represent a step-change in the manufacturing methods for this type of film.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk