Electrically Conductive Photopatternable Silver Paste for High-Frequency Ring Resonator and Band-Pass Filter
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In conventional thick-film technology, there are often problems associated with poor edges, rough surfaces, and reproducibility due to process limitations, especially for high-frequency applications. These difficulties can be circumvented by using thin-film technology, but process cost and complexity remain major concerns. In this context, photopatternable thick-film technology can offer a viable alternative due to its Newtonian rheology, which can facilitate formation of the required sharp edges. We present herein a unique attempt to formulate a photopatternable silver paste with organic (photosensitive polymer) to inorganic (silver and glass) ratio of 30:70, developed in-house by us for fabrication of thick-film-based ring resonator and band-pass filter components. The ring resonator and band-pass component structures were realized by exposing screen-printed film to ultraviolet light at wavelength of 315 nm to 400 nm for 30 s to crosslink the photosensitive polymer. The pattern was subsequently developed using 1% sodium carbonate aqueous solution. For comparison, conventional silver and silver-palladium thick films were produced using in-house formulations. The surface topology and microstructural features were examined by stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The smoothness and edge definition of the film were assessed by profilometry. The resistivity of the samples was observed and remained in the range from 3.4 μΩ cm to 3.6 μΩ cm. The electrical properties were compared by measuring the insertion loss characteristics. The results revealed that the ring resonator fabricated using the photopatternable silver paste exhibited better high-frequency properties compared with components based on conventional silver or silver-palladium paste, especially in terms of the resonant frequency of 10.1 GHz (versus 10 GHz designed) with bandwidth of 80 MHz. Additionally, the band-pass filter fabricated using the photopatternable silver paste displayed better center frequency (f0 = 10.588 GHz) and comparable ripple and attenuation bandwidth performance on par with Cu thin film.
KeywordsThick films photopatterning ultraviolet (UV) exposure aqueous developable ring resonator band-pass filter
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