FlexTrail is a new and innovative printing process that was invented at Fraunhofer ISE and is currently being developed under high pressure. The process enables the printing of ultra-fine (functional) lines with a minimum feature size of 5-10 μm on planar and structured surfaces. The printing speed reaches up to 500 mm/s, which underlines the industrial feasability of FlexTrail. FlexTrail was originally developed for the direct metallization of solar cells. Due to the chemical resistance of the print head, the field of application has been extended towards printing of etching media, dopants and inorganic polymers (e.g. hydrogenated oligosilanes and preceramic polysilazanes).

Our infrastructure and services for FlexTrail:

  • Various laboratory setups available for process and application development
  • Development of printing processes with structure widths of less than 10 µm
  • Evaluation of the FlexTrail process for use in various applications with increased requirements in terms of resource efficiency and precision
  • Evaluation of print media for use in FlexTrail printing processes
Querschnitt einer mittels FlexTrail gedruckten Leiterbahn auf einer texturierten industriellen Solarzelle.
© Energy Technology, volume 10, issue 12, article number 2200702, 2022 (CC BY 4.0)
Cross-section of a FlexTrail printed conductive path on a textured industrial solar cell.
Aufsicht auf FlexTrail-gedruckte Leiterbahnen auf einer industriellen Solarzellen mit einer Strukturbreite von weniger als 10 µm. Die Leiterbahnen basieren auf nano-skaligen Silberpartikeln und sind insbesondere für Niedertemperaturanwendungen relevant.
© Energy Technology, volume 10, issue 12, article number 2200702, 2022 (CC BY 4.0)
Top view of FlexTrail-printed conductor tracks on an industrial solar cell with a structure width of less than 10 µm. The tracks are based on nano-scale silver particles and are particularly relevant for low-temperature applications.

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