Ambient Temperature Synthesis and Sintering of Conductive Aqueous Copper Inks

T. Druffel, M. Jha, R. Dharmadasa
University of Louisville, US

Keywords: intense pulsed light, sintering, conductive film


Conducting films are becoming increasingly important for the printed electronics industry with applications in various technologies including antennas, RFID tags, photovoltaics, flexible electronics and displays. To date, expensive noble metals have been utilized in these conductive films, which ultimately increases the cost. In the present work, more economically viable copper based conducting films have been developed for both glass and flexible PET substrates, using copper and copper oxide nanoparticles. The copper nanoparticles (with copper (I) oxide impurity) are synthesized by using a simple copper reduction method in the presence of Tergitol as a capping agent. Various factors such as solvent, pH and reductant concentration have been explored in detail and optimized in order to produce a nanoparticle ink at room temperature. Secondly, the ink obtained was used to fabricate conducting films by intense pulse light sintering (IPL) of the deposited films. These conducting films had sheet resistances (Rs) as low as 0.12 Ω/□.