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Assisted sintering of silver nanoparticle inkjet inks on paper with active coatings
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2340-2363
Schoeller Technocell GmbH & Co KG, D-49086 Osnabruck, Germany.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Electronics Design.
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2015 (English)In: RSC Advances, ISSN 2046-2069, E-ISSN 2046-2069, Vol. 5, 64841-64849 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inkjet-printed metal films are important within the emerging field of printed electronics. For large-scale manufacturing, low-cost flexible substrates and low temperature sintering is desired. Tailored coated substrates are interesting for roll-to-roll fabrication of printed electronics, since a suitable tailoring of the ink-substrate system may reduce, or remove, the need for explicit sintering. Here we utilize specially designed coated papers, containing chloride as an active sintering agent. The built-in sintering agent greatly assists low-temperature sintering of inkjet-printed AgNP films. Further, we examine the effect of variations in coating pore size and precoating type. Interestingly, we find that the sintering is substantially affected by these parameters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, 64841-64849 p.
Keyword [en]
printed electronics, sintering, inkjet printing, silver nanoparticles, AgNP, thin films, paper, coatings, chemical sintering, mesoporous, flexible electronics
National Category
Materials Engineering Nano Technology Materials Chemistry Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23418DOI: 10.1039/c5ra06626cISI: 000359136500003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84938717754OAI: diva2:763166
Available from: 2014-11-13 Created: 2014-11-13 Last updated: 2016-10-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Metal Films for Printed Electronics: Ink-substrate Interactions and Sintering
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Metal Films for Printed Electronics: Ink-substrate Interactions and Sintering
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A new manufacturing paradigm may lower the cost and environmental impact of existing products, as well as enable completely new products. Large scale, roll-to-roll manufacturing of flexible electronics and other functionality has great potential. However, a commercial breakthrough depends on a lower consumption of materials and energy compared with competing alternatives, and that sufficiently high performance and reliability of the products can be maintained. The substrate constitutes a large part of the product, and therefore its cost and environmental sustainability are important. Electrically conducting thin films are required in many functional devices and applications. In demanding applications, metal films offer the highest conductivity.


In this thesis, paper substrates of various type and construction were characterized, and the characteristics were related to the performance of inkjet-printed metal patterns. Fast absorption of the ink carrier was beneficial for well-defined pattern geometry, as well as high conductivity. Surface roughness with topography variations of sufficiently large amplitude and frequency, was detrimental to the pattern definition and conductivity. Porosity was another important factor, where the characteristic pore size was much more important than the total pore volume. Apparent surface energy was important for non-absorbing substrates, but of limited importance for coatings with a high absorption rate. Applying thin polymer–based coatings on flexible non-porous films to provide a mechanism for ink solvent removal, improved the pattern definition significantly. Inkjet-printing of a ZnO-dispersion on uncoated paper provided a thin spot-coating, allowing conductivity of silver nanoparticle films. Conductive nanoparticle films could not form directly on the uncoated paper.


The resulting performance of printed metal patterns was highly dependent on a well adapted sintering methodology. Several sintering methods were examined in this thesis, including conventional oven sintering, electrical sintering, microwave sintering, chemical sintering and intense pulsed light sintering. Specially designed coated papers with modified chemical and physical properties, were utilized for chemical low-temperature sintering of silver nanoparticle inks. For intense pulsed light sintering and material conversion of patterns, custom equipment was designed and built. Using the equipment, inkjet-printed copper oxide patterns were processed into highly conducting copper patterns. Custom-designed papers with mesoporous coatings and porous precoatings improved the reliablility and performance of the reduction and sintering process.





The thesis aims to clarify how ink-substrate interactions and sintering methodology affect the performance and reliability of inkjet-printed nanoparticle patterns on flexible substrates. This improves the selection, adaptation, design and manufacturing of suitable substrates for inkjet-printed high conductivity patterns, such as circuit boards or RFID antennas.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2014. 72 p.
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 210
inkjet printing, silver nanoparticles, paper, flexible substrates, sintering, printed electronics, IPL sintering, flash sintering, copper films, coatings, thin films, AgNP, conductive films, metal films
National Category
Physical Chemistry Materials Engineering Nano Technology Physical Sciences
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23420 (URN)978-91-87557-98-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-18, Mediacenter, Digital Printing Center, Järnvägsgatan 3, Örnsköldsvik, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2014-11-14 Created: 2014-11-13 Last updated: 2015-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Öhlund, ThomasAndres, BrittaAndersson, HenrikForsberg, SvenNilsson, Hans-ErikAndersson, MattiasZhang, RenyunOlin, Håkan
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