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New metal-based inks enable cost-efficient production of flexible antennas for RFID tags


* BASF launches metal-based inks under the name of CypoPrint®
* Cost-efficient starting material for additive manufacturing of flexible RFID antennas

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.


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