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Controlling the crack formation in inkjet-printed silver nanoparticle thin-films for high resolution patterning using intense pulsed light treatment

Gomes, H.L.

Nanotechnology Vol. NA, Nº NA, pp. NA - NA, October, 2017.

ISSN (print): 0957-4484
ISSN (online): 1361-6528

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,08 (in 2017)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa9238

During the last years, intense pulsed light (IPL) processing has been employed and studied intensively for the drying and sintering of metal nanoparticle layers deposited by means of printing methods on flexible polymer substrates. IPL was found to be a very fast and substrate-gentle approach qualified for the field of flexible and large-area printed electronics, i.e. manufactured via roll-to-roll (R2R) processing. In this contribution, IPL is used for the fine-patterning of printed silver nanoparticle layers. The patterning is obtained by induced and controlled crack formation in the thin silver layer due to the intense exposure of IPL. The crack formation is controlled by selection of the substrate material, the fine-tuning of the morphology of the silver layer and an application of a dielectric layer on top of the silver layer that acts as a stress concentrator. Careful optimization of the IPL parameters allowed to adjust the lateral width of the crack. This novel approach turned out to be a fast and reproducible high-resolution patterning process for multiple applications, e.g. to pattern the source-drain electrodes for all-inkjet-printed thin-film transistors.