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Research Papers

Flexible RFID Tag Inductor Printed by Liquid Metal Ink Printer and Its Characterization

[+] Author and Article Information
Yunxia Gao

Key Laboratory of Materials Physics,
Institute of Solid State Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Hefei 230031, China;
Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China

Rui Liu, Xianping Wang

Key Laboratory of Materials Physics,
Institute of Solid State Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Hefei 230031, China

Jing Liu

Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China;
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: jliu@mail.ipc.ac.cn

Qianfeng Fang

Key Laboratory of Materials Physics,
Institute of Solid State Physics,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Hefei 230031, China
e-mail: qffang@issp.ac.cn

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received December 27, 2014; final manuscript received June 29, 2016; published online July 21, 2016. Editor: Y. C. Lee.

J. Electron. Packag 138(3), 031007 (Jul 21, 2016) (5 pages) Paper No: EP-14-1120; doi: 10.1115/1.4034062 History: Received December 27, 2014; Revised June 29, 2016

In order to fulfill various growing needs of application fields, the development of low-cost directly printable radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag is essential for item level tracking. Currently, there lacks an easily available way to directly write out functional consumer electronicslike typewriting on paper by an office printer. Here, we show a desktop printing of RFID tag inductors on flexible substrates via developing liquid metal ink and related working mechanisms. The directly printing inductor on various flexible substrates with extremely low cost and rapid speed was designed based on the sympathetic oscillations of multiple LC (inductor–capacitor) circuits. In order to better meet the demands of the distinct resonant circuits, a series of conceptual experiments for investigating the relationship between the character of the inductor and its parameters—shape, number of coils, line width, spacing, etc.,—have been designed. The parameters are all working upon the performance of the printed inductors by liquid metal ink printer, and the relationship laws are consistent with those of the conventional inductors. The coils number as the biggest effect factor has a linear relationship with the inductance of the spiral-type inductors. An inductor with excellent properties can be well chosen by adjusting its parameters according to various applications. The present work demonstrated the way for a low cost and easy going method in directly printing RFID tag inductors on flexible substrates.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Optical image of the experimental printer printing inductor on PDMS and the micrograph of the roller ball printing head (b) and the size of roller ball(c)

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Fig. 2

(a) The rectangle inductors printed on different flexible substrates. (b) A micrograph of a square inductor line with the width of 200 μm. (c) The scanning electron microscope (SEM) graphs of the line with the thickness of about 200 μm printed on PDMS.

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Fig. 3

Contact angles of liquid metal ink with paper, latex, and PDMS

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Fig. 4

The inductance (a) and Q factor (b) of printable inductor affected by shape and number of coils. The insets are the flexible inductors printed on PDMS.

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Fig. 5

The inductance (a) and Q factor (b) of printable rectangle inductor affected by line width and line spacing

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