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Conductive Ink-Jet Inks for Plastic Electronics: Air Stable Copper Nanoparticles and Room Temperature Sintering

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One of the greatest challenges in fabrication of plastic electronics devices by printing metallic nanoprticles is obtaining highly conductive patterns at sufficiently low temperature which will not damage the polymeric substrate. However, to date, sufficient conductivity of silver patterns was achieved only after prolonged heating at elevated temperatures, thus limiting fabrication of plastic devices only to heat resistance polymers.

We report on a discovery that assemblies of silver nanoparticles, can undergo a spontaneous two-dimensional aggregation-coalescence process, even at room temperature. The surface coalescence of the metal nanoparticles leads to sintering and eventually to electrical conductivity, much below the melting temperature of the bulk silver. This process is triggered by surface charge neutralization of the nanoparticles, by using a variety of charged flocculants, and takes place in thin layers of various substrates, such as plastic and paper. The resulting high conductivity, 20% of bulk silver, enabled fabrication of various devices, as demonstrated by a flexible plastic electroluminescent ink-jet printed device.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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