07 Feb 2024 Publications

Nanosafety assessment of conductors, dielectrics and OSCs in HI-ACCURACY

Nanosafety assessment of conductors, dielectrics and OSCs in HI-ACCURACY

Project Deliverable by BNN
Project: HI-ACCURACY (High-ACCuracy printed electronics down to µm size, for Organic Large Area Electronics (OLAE) Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and Display Applications – EU Grant Agreement No 862410)
Date of publication: October 2023
Area: Design for Technology Development (DfTD)
BNN team involvement: Susanne Resch, Clemens Wolf, Matiss Reinfelds

This report, published within the EU project HI-ACCURACY, outlines the findings within the nanosafety assessment of printed organic electronics – more specifically, ink formulation development and processing. The report was written by Matiss Reinfelds, Clemens Wolf and Susanne Resch (BNN).

First, the report provides a brief introduction to nanosafety in industrial and research laboratories. Together with all project partners, we elaborate and evaluate possible exposure scenarios to various nanomaterials relevant to the research performed in HI-ACCURACY.

Potential inhalation and dermal exposure are the focal points of this review. We presented results from on-site measurements of (i) particle number concentration and (ii) volatile organic hydrocarbons (e.g., solvents) performed at project partners’ laboratories. Additionally, we present a tool for the selection of alternative (more sustainable) solvents for printed electronics, before delving into the safe work procedure and best practice guidelines.

According to our results, the particle number concentration during the various printing processes was at a very low level, as were volatile organic hydrocarbons. At the same time, the comprehensive literature review revealed a lack of availability for high-quality measurement data regarding worker exposure to nanomaterials in R&D laboratories. Thus, in the presented recommendations we encourage R&D&I organizations and industries to perform such measurements and provide the data publicly to be available and accessible to further drive the knowledge on safety of nanomaterials.

This report was supported by previous work performed within the scope of Hi-Response (“Innovative High Resolution Electro-Static printing of Multifunctional Materials”, H2020 NMP-PILOTS-Programme) and INSPIRED (“INdustrial Scale Production of Innovative nanomateRials for printEd Devices”, H2020 NMP-PILOTS-Programme). Further consultation with colleagues from the project Gov4Nano (“Implementation of Risk Governance: meeting the needs of nanotechnology”, H2020 NMBP-Programme) and the European NanoSafety Cluster (NSC), including its different Working Groups, enhanced interdisciplinary and international collaboration in the field of nanosafety and Safe-by-Design.

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