Inkjet printing is a liquid-based additive manufacturing process, in which a slurry is deposited drop by drop onto a substrate. It has proven to be a promising production technology for various applications due to its process-immanent characteristics, such as the high resolution and the multi-material processability. The suitability of the method for processing particle-loaded slurries enables new potential fields of application, such as the fabrication of customized electrodes for lithium-ion cells. Owing to the additive process, ion flow-optimized three-dimensional electrode geometries can be produced, which cannot or only with increased effort be realized through conventional manufacturing processes. Such an adaptation of the electrode microstructure is expected to mitigate the trade-off between the achievable energy and power density. Nevertheless, the inkjet printing process places particular demands on the electrode slurry. Standard electrode slurries cannot be processed through inkjet printing without modifications. Accordingly, the overall challenge is to meet the requirements of the printing process while achieving competitive performance characteristics.
In the presentation, both product and process requirements are examined. Based on theoretical end empirical results, a methodical procedure for qualifying electrode slurries for the inkjet printing process is demonstrated. The elaborated framework is expected to establish inkjet printing for the production of electrodes for niche applications.