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New Metal-based Inks Enable Cost-efficient Production of Flexible Antennas for RFID Tags

Published on 2009-12-04. Author : SpecialChem

LUDWIGSHAFEN -- CypoPrint ® is the name of a new range of metal-based inks from BASF destined for the production of flexible antennas for RFID tags. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is used to identify and locate goods in a similar way to the barcode system. The non-conductive CypoPrint ® inks from BASF offer a cost-efficient and more eco-friendly alternative to the current etching technique and represent the first solution for the additive manufacturing of RFID antennas.

The benefits of additive manufacturing compared with aluminum etching are the efficient use of raw materials and the lower environmental impact. The new CypoPrint® inks replace the expensive, conductive printing pastes previously used in the additive process and substantially reduce the manufacturing costs of RFID antennas. This makes the additive manufacturing process commercially viable for the first time thanks to CypoPrint ®.

The non-conductive CypoPrint® inks developed by BASF are applied to polyester films using a standard printing process and then given a conductive metallic coating in an electroplating system for flexible electronics. "Because the CypoPrint® inks are converted and made conductive in the electroplating stage, we refer to them as 'seeder' inks. CypoPrint® is the 'seed' that we apply to the object where we later want to 'grow' copper conductor structures," explains Dr. Christoffer Kieburg, Project Manager in BASF's metal systems business. "Another customer benefit is the variable layer thickness and conductivity of the antennas, which can be easily adapted to the various memory chips during electroplating."

In addition to the CypoPrint® seeder inks, BASF's portfolio also includes a primer to achieve even better adhesion of the antenna structures formed on the film.

RFID tags, consisting of a flexible antenna and a chip, are mainly used for ticketing systems, baggage tracking at airports, and logistics. Around 3 billion tags are manufactured globally each year, and demand is continuing to rise.

About Inorganics:

The Inorganics Division develops and manufactures one of the broadest portfolios of inorganic chemicals, products mainly based on natural gas and metal compounds worldwide. It supplies customers, e.g. from the construction, pharmaceutical, food or wood working industry. Its product portfolio ranges from inorganic basic chemicals such as sulfuric or nitric acids to inorganic salts like ammonium bicarbonate, specialties such as borons and carbonyl iron powder, glues and impregnating resins, electronic chemicals and fertilizers. The Inorganics Division employs about 3000 people at sites in Europe, Asia and the United States.

About BASF:

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals and oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €62 billion in 2008 and had approximately 97,000employees as of the end of the year.

Source: BASF

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