Contactless In Situ Electrical Characterization Method of Printed Electronic Devices with Terahertz Spectroscopy

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jan 22;19(3):444. doi: 10.3390/s19030444.


Printed electronic devices are attracting significant interest due to their versatility and low cost; however, quality control during manufacturing is a significant challenge, preventing the widespread adoption of this promising technology. We show that terahertz (THz) radiation can be used for the in situ inspection of printed electronic devices, as confirmed through a comparison with conventional electrical conductivity methods. Our in situ method consists of printing a simple test pattern exhibiting a distinct signature in the THz range that enables the precise characterization of the static electrical conductivities of the printed ink. We demonstrate that contactless dual-wavelength THz spectroscopy analysis, which requires only a single THz measurement, is more precise and repeatable than the conventional four-point probe conductivity measurement method. Our results open the door to a simple strategy for performing contactless quality control in real time of printed electronic devices at any stage of its production line.

Keywords: inkjet printing; printed electronics; terahertz time-domain spectroscopy; vortex beam; vortex phase plate.