Layer Morphology and Ink Compatibility of Silver Nanoparticle Inkjet Inks for Near-Infrared Sintering
The field of printed electronics is rapidly evolving, producing low cost applications with enhanced performances with transparent, stretchable properties and higher reliability. Due to the versatility of printed electronics, industry can consider the implementation of electronics in a way which was never possible before. However, a post-processing step to achieve conductive structures—known as sintering—limits the production ease and speed of printed electronics. This study addresses the issues
... ddresses the issues related to fast sintering without scarifying important properties such as conductivity and surface roughness. A drop-on-demand inkjet printer is employed to deposit silver nanoparticle-based inks. The post-processing time of these inks is reduced by replacing the conventional oven sintering procedure with the state-of-the-art method, named near-infrared sintering. By doing so, the post-processing time shortens from 30–60 min to 6–8 s. Furthermore, the maximum substrate temperature during sintering is reduced from 200 °C to 120 °C. Based on the results of this study, one can conclude that near-infrared sintering is a ready-to-industrialize post-processing method for the production of printed electronics, capable of sintering inks at high speed, low temperature and with low complexity. Furthermore, it becomes clear that ink optimization plays an important role in processing inkjet printable inks, especially after being near-infrared sintered.