Electroninks’ metal complex ink products reduce waste and improve sustainability on multiple fronts. These inks are developed from a variety of precious metals like copper, silver, platinum, nickel, and gold. The precious metals market has long been plagued by environmental concerns surrounding unethical sourcing practices and access limitation. Electroninks’ particle-free inks can achieve the same or better performance as particle-based inks on the market due to the nature of the formulation, which doesn’t include additives like surfactants, polymers, or binders that reduces the conductivity of printed films. As a result, Electroninks’ inks result in the formation of dense and highly conductive films while using far less precious metal than particle-based alternatives, making Electroninks’ inks more environmentally friendly than their competitors, and less sensitive to supply chain and pricing constraints on precious metals.
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a common method of metallization in semiconductor chip packaging for different applications. PVD tools require vacuum, relatively high energy usage, and frequent maintenance. Electroninks uses an alternative approach of providing EMI shielding and other metallization by depositing their metal complex inks via printing techniques, such as spray coating. The equipment needed for spray coating takes up less physical space, uses orders of magnitude less energy, and requires minimal water usage compared to PVD.
The spray coating process also produces minimal waste. The process is conducted on a heated stage which allows for ‘in situ’ curing. During ‘in situ’ curing, solvents from the ink evaporate instantly and pass through an exhaust filter that captures any exhaust. This prevents any environmental damage and requires no water.
The overall tooling cost of PVD is typically about 10X compared to printing/spray techniques. Moreover, they require nearly constant maintenance to achieve required utilization.
This cost can be prohibitive for chip manufacturers, limiting their ability to scale sustainably. And the utilization pressure can limit prototypes and other developments.