Journal Article Stabilization of the thermal decomposition process of self-reducible copper ion ink for direct printed conductive patterns

Huang, Kuan-Ming  ,  Tsukamoto, Hiroki  ,  Yong, Yingqiong  ,  Chiu, Hsien-Lung  ,  Mai Thanh Nguyen  ,  Yonezawa, Tetsu  ,  Liao, Ying-Chih

7 ( 40 )  , pp.25095 - 25100 , 2017-05-10 , Royal Society of Chemistry
In this study, a thermally triggered self-reducible copper ink is developed to print conductive patterns on flexible substrates. Inks containing only copper formate (CuF) and monoisopropanol amine (MIPA) generated large bubbles in the CuF decomposing process, and thus the surface morphologies of prepared thin films were largely disturbed. With the addition of octylamine (OA), the bubbling disturbance was relieved due to the lower surface tension and the film uniformity was greatly improved. A low resistivity of 2 x 10(-7) Omega m (8.5% of bulk copper) can be reached by heating the ink at 140 degrees C for 5 minutes under a nitrogen environment. XRD results showed the synthesized copper films were comprised of pure metallic copper crystalline. The copper films were composed of closely packed spherical grains of 50 to 500 nm in diameter. After the addition of 1 wt% polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in the ink, the synthesized copper thin films showed great adhesion on glass substrates, and sustained the same conductivity after repeated tape tests. The ink can also be printed on flexible substrates, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyimide (PI) thin films, to create highly-conductive tracks with a strong mechanical stability. Finally, various conductive patterns were printed on flexible substrates to show the great potential of this ink for various printed electronic applications.

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