Laser-induced forward transfer for manufacture of graphite-based heaters on flexible substrate

Logaheswari Muniraj*, Marcus Ardron, Juan M. Fernández-Pradas, Martí Duocastella, Pere Serra, Robert L. Reuben, Duncan P. Hand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Flexible heaters have recently gained considerable interest owing to their ability to be integrated into a wide variety of miniaturized devices. They are used to perform thermal management, strain engineering, and even electrothermal actuation. These heaters are mainly fabricated using thin film techniques, which typically involves a multi-step lithography process that can be complex and expensive. Alternatively, wet coating methods are also employed; however, these possess several limitations when dealing with high viscosity inks. In this paper, we use a laser driven process called laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) to fabricate graphite-based heaters on a flexible substrate. LIFT is a non-contact printing process that, unlike ink-jet printing, is nozzle-free, which makes it suitable to print any ink regardless of its viscosity. We report the first use of LIFT to print flexographic graphite ink to pattern heaters. The flexographic ink possesses high viscosity in the order of 1300–1700 mPa⋅s. The smallest deposit obtained using the graphite ink was 176 µm in diameter. Characterisation of the heaters shows that they can reach a wide range of temperatures at different voltage inputs. A maximum temperature of 123 °C was reached over an area of approximately 18 mm2 at 5.2 V.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115442
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Early online date3 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2024


  • Direct-write
  • Graphite heaters
  • Laser-induced forward transfer
  • Local heating
  • Thermal management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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