Inkjet printing and photonic sintering of silver and copper oxide nanoparticles for ultra-low-cost conductive patterns
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Printing technologies to produce conductive films and electronic devices are well established and employ only inexpensive materials and devices as well as rapid post-processing methods. In this work, silver nanoparticle and copper-oxide nanoparticle ink was printed using a consumer inkjet printer on a large variety of commercially available substrates. The print quality was assessed by various methods. Self-sintering of the silver ink led to sheet resistances of less than 400 m Omega square(-1). Photonic sintering reduced the sheet resistance down to 55 m Omega square(-1) within a few milliseconds, equivalent to 2.4 times that of bulk silver. Copper oxide ink was reduced by intense pulsed light and a sheet resistance of 335 m Omega square(-1), or 4.5 times that of bulk copper, was obtained. The parameters for sintering were optimized for both inks to achieve low resistivities within a few seconds without damaging the substrates. The production process can be reduced to a few minutes and is fully roll-to-roll compatible, thus providing a quick and ultra-low-cost manufacturing method to produce conductive patterns for wiring, printed circuit boards, antennas, sensor electrodes, light emitting diodes, and solar cells.