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Title: Paper-based screen-printed passive electronic components
Author: Shenton, Samantha Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 7492
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis investigates paper-based electronics in terms of various substrates, fabrication methods and example devices, including touch sensors and microwave resonators. The term ‘paper’ is very broad and covers a wide range of substrates. A decision matrix has been created to determine the optimum paper for an application, based on a range of properties. Thermal evaporation and screen printing are compared for their use as fabrication methods for paper-based electronics and a second decision matrix has been compiled. Based on these decision matrices, screen printing onto a thicker matt paper was determined to be optimal. The printing process was further optimised to achieve the best results from the in-house process. Using this well-developed screen-printing method, passive components (including inductors and interdigitated capacitive touch sensors) were fabricated and found to be comparable with state-of-the- art results reported in the literature. Measurements from the touch pads were compared to modelling, with little variation between the two, and were confirmed to work under a wide range of conditions, showing that they are compatible with any user. The microwave characteristics, up to 3GHz, of both the chosen substrate and silver-flake ink were investigated through production of screen-printed transmission lines. These characteristics were then used to create microwave resonators. The frequency range is important for applications as the industrial, scientific and medical radio band (ISM band) lies between 2.45 and 2.55 GHz which includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Initially, stub resonators were considered to determine the cause of differences between theoretical and measured results. Then spiral defected ground structures were made, with multiple resonances, and sensitivity to touch and humidity demonstrated. As paper is hygroscopic, the effect of humidity on paper-based electronics is of key importance. This has been considered for all the devices fabricated in this work and it has been determined that the change in permittivity of the substrate, as a result of absorbed water within paper, is the most dominant factor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available