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PhD Studentship Inkjet Printing of Non-solvent Polyimide Materials

Applications are invited for a PhD position in semiconductors to join The University of Nottingham, UK. Applications should be sent before July 31, 2019.

Based at the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM)

This 3 year PhD studentship, is based at the world-renowned Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM) at The University of Nottingham in partnership with global electronics manufacturer Texas Instruments Incorporated. For further information, please visit https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/cfam/

As AM technologies advance and printed electronics (PE) applications continue to mature there will constantly be a need to utilize more electronically friendly materials as opposed to the materials that have been traditionally used in printing. Polyimide is one such material that has proved difficult to utilize, particularly via inkjet printing. It is well known that there is a trade off in jettability of an ink and the molecular weight of a polymer chain, being inversely correlated (i.e. higher molecular weight decreases ability to be jetted reliably). In turn this necessitates the dilution of polymers via solvents to the point where the solids % mass of an ink can be prohibitively low. Alternatively, the molecular chain of the polymer can be shortened, but this can then in turn change bulk material properties in a negative manner.

For these reasons, this project is targeting the development of a non-solvent polyimide system that can be jetted onto a substrate and react in situ, thus leaving behind a polymer structure that is more akin to traditionally manufactured structures. In the semiconductor industry, polyimide is commonly applied to silicon wafers via spin coating technology and then developed via photolithography for fine features. This project seeks to simplify this process by reducing material waste, pattern directly via digital fabrication, and completely eliminate all the overhead associated with photolithography (e.g. optical masks, large/expensive tools). It is expected that this project will develop a non-solvent polyimide system that when printed and cured mimics spin on polyimide bulk material properties, both electrical and mechanical. It is also expected that all benefits that come with AM (e.g. digital fabrication, multi-layering, etc.) will be ensured, thus enabling next generation polyimide structures for future applications.

Applicants should possess a minimum 2:1 in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, or a related discipline.

Please send your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to cfam@nottingham.ac.uk referring to the project title. Please note applications without academic transcripts will not be considered.

The successful candidate will be available to start on 1st October 2019.


Summary:

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