Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)


Systems Science and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Peter Borgesen


Flexible interconnects are integral to flexible hybrid electronics. Aerosol jet, inkjet or screen printing offer various advantages and disadvantages compared to electroplating, but the behavior of printed metal traces under various types of loading is very different and not yet well understood. This thesis presents an assessment of the electromechanical behavior of aerosol jet printed Nano silver particles on two common polyimide substrates, Upilex and Kapton.

There are many different aspects to electromechanical testing of flexible interconnects, but this work focuses on the effects of tension and cyclic loading. In comparison to the much more widely researched electroplated copper or vapor deposited silver traces, AJP traces exhibit a stronger increase in electrical resistance for comparatively minor strains and they damage much faster under cyclic loading conditions. The fatigue behavior is seen to vary with the combination of substrate modulus and viscoelastic deformation properties. The rate of damage increases faster with increasing amplitude on the less compliant substrate and, consistently with this, raising the minimum strain in the cycle led to a significantly stronger reduction in damage rates. However, the damage rate remained lower on the less compliant substrate at all amplitudes considered.