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Controlling the ink spreading on uncoated paper for inkjet printed nanoparticle silver inks in combination with intense pulsed light (IPL) sintering

: Weise, D.; Hartwig, M.; Mitra, K.Y.; Wagenbach, A.; Shah, K.Y.; Baumann, R.R.

Baumann, R. ; TU Chemnitz, Institut für Print- und Medientechnik:
Printing Future Days 2015. Proceedings : 6th International Scientific Conference on Print and Media Technology for Junior Scientists and PhD Students, October 05 - 07, 2015, Chemnitz, Germany
Berlin: VWB Verlag für Wissen und Bildung, 2015
ISBN: 978-3-86135-626-4
ISBN: 3-86135-626-0
Printing Future Days <6, 2015, Chemnitz>
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

Printing of functional inks with e.g. conducting properties onto flexible polymeric foils is one of the main research topics in printed electronics. The inkjet printing technology is of high interest due to its non-contact printing, feature size of one as well as patterns down to micrometer scale. However, considering absorbing substrates, such as uncoated paper, the most challenging part is the uncontrolled spreading and absorption of the ink into the substrate. Therefore the patterns are inhomogeneous in shape and disconnected, which leads to no functionality in terms of e.g. conductivity.
This paper investigates the challenges and possibilities of an inkjet printed nano-particle silver ink onto a non-coated and therefore high absorbing paper substrate. The study includes the spreading behavior of thin lines as well as solid patterns, serving as the basis for conductive tracks and electrodes. The printed silver patterns are sintered by the novel method of intense pulsed light (IPL) sintering. A light microscopic will be used for the evaluation of the spreading and penetration of the conducting ink into the paper and fibers. The electrical performance of the printed metal layers will be analyzed by means of resistance measurements and displayed depending on the printing and sintering parameters.
By the introduction of intermediate drying steps and multi-layer printing defined patterns with controlled spreading and shapes could be achieved. The resistance could be measured and was found to be in the range of a few Ohms for the best printing and intermediate sintering strategy on the porous and uncoated paper substrate.