R2R System

The roll-to-roll (R2R) processing for electronics is also known as web processing or reel to reel processing, which is the process of making electronic devices on flexible substrates. This is the future of electronic devices as the process is carried out at normal room conditions. The flexible substrate used in this system can be of plastic such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), paper or metal sheet. R2R system is simpler and cost effective method as compared to the conventional manufacturing processes currently adopted in electronic industry. R2R process comprises of selecting suitable ink, a printing system for printing the inkon the substrate such as direct gravure, gravure offset, microgravure, electrohydrodynamics, slot die printing method, and finally curing of the ink.

The roughness and layer thickness defines the performance of a device. 1 Lee et al. 2 showed that the print thickness and roughness depend on the tension while keeping all other parameters constant in a R2R process. Hence printed electronics require highly regulated tension in R2R process. Electronic devices comprise of more than one layer, so in printed electronics, new layer must be printed on top of the previous layer in a way that both layers are aligned. The alignment error of two layers is known as register error. Fluctuation in tension causes register error 3 which ultimately result in failure of the device. Graphic media uses the R2R system for printing with acceptabletension error of _ 10% of reference tension in steady running state 4 and register control error up to 76.2 m m. 5,6 Song and Sul 7 presented the tension control for metal processing line. For printed electronics, highly regulated tension is required as compared to graphic printing. https://doi.org/10.1177/0954406212473041

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