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Inkjet Printing of Polyacrylic Acid-Coated Silver Nanoparticle Ink onto Paper with Sub-100 Micron Pixel Size

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Abstract

Printed electronics (PE) technology shows huge promise for the realisation of low-cost and flexible electronics, with the ability to pattern heat- or pressure-sensitive materials. In future developments of the PE market, the ability to produce highly conductive, high-resolution patterns using low-cost and roll-to-roll processes, such as inkjet printing, is a critical technology component for the fabrication of printed electronics and displays. Here, we demonstrate inkjet printing of polyacrylic acid (PAA) capped silver nanoparticle dispersions onto paper for high-conductivity electronic interconnects. We characterise the resulting print quality, feature geometry and electrical performance of inkjet patterned features and demonstrate the high-resolution printing, sub-100 micron feature size, of silver nanoparticle materials onto flexible paper substrate. Printed onto photo-paper, these materials then undergo chemically triggered sintering on exposure to chloride contained in the paper. We investigated the effect of substrate temperature on the properties of printed silver material from room temperature to 50 °C. At room temperature, the resistivity of single layer printed features, of average thickness of 500 nm and width 85 μm, was found to be 2.17 × 10−7 Ω·m or 13 times resistivity of bulk silver (RBS). The resistivity initially decreased with an increase in material thickness, when achieved by overprinting successive layers or by decreasing print pitch, and a resistivity of around 10 times RBS was observed after overprinting two times at pitch 75 μm and with single pass print pitch of between 60 and 80 μm, resulting in line thickness up to 920 nm. On further increases in thickness the resistivity increased and reached 27 times RBS at print pitch of 15 μm. On moderate heating of the substrate to 50 °C, more compact silver nanoparticle films were formed, reducing thickness to 200 nm from a single pass print, and lower material resistivity approaching five times RBS was achieved.

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials
Volume12
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019
Peer-reviewedYes

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