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UV-enhanced thermal annealing of inkjet-printed silver structures

: Müller, M.; Knothe, M.; Wend, J.; Jahn, S.; Blaudeck, T.

TU Chemnitz, Institut für Print- und Medientechnik:
Printing Future Days 2009. 3rd International Student Conference on Print and Media Technology. Proceedings : November 2 - 5, 2009, Chemnitz, Germany
Berlin: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Forschung, 2009
ISBN: 978-3-89700-108-4
Printing Future Days <3, 2009, Chemnitz>
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

As an established technology in the area of small-office, home-office (SOHO) and industrial printing, inkjet becomes more and more interesting in the field of depositing conductive materials in a structured, additive way. Small, defined structures, high conductivity and the use of flexible and low-cost substrates are in the focus of research to enable improved performance of inkjet-fabricated devices. In order to reach reasonably high conductivities, knowledge on the post treatment of the printed structures is an essential but also critical step. The most common post treatment method is thermal sintering. However, with the respect to the use of polymer substrates, process temperatures below 130 \'0eC are needed. Alternative methods such as electric field, microwave or plasma sintering were recently discussed in the scientific literature. Another promising method is the use of ultraviolet radiation. Our paper focuses onto the influence of UV light applied during the thermal sintering process of inkjet-printed metal-organic silver precursor materials. We report a faster decomposition of the precursor materials and sintering of silver structures is possible at temperatures below 130 \'0eC as compared to pure thermal sintering. We discuss the influence of the chosen process parameters on both effective conductivity and feature sizes by measuring the edge sharpness of printed structures.