2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Nitrocellulose-Stabilized Silver Nanoparticles as Low Conversion Temperature Precursors for Inkjet-Printed Electronic Circuits

B.T. Nguyen, J.E. Gautrot, M.T. Nguyen and X.X. Zhu
Université de Montréal, CA

silver nanoparticles, cellulose, inkjet printing, electronic circuits

Liquid-based inkjet printing is considered as a constructive (rather than destructuve) low-cost technique for printed circuit boards fabrication. A convenient way of depositing silver films and lines using inkjet technology is to generate silver nanoparticles (AgNP) that can be dispersed and stabilized in solutions, processed into desired patterns and subsequently annealed. To avoid the aggregation of AgNPs, polymers are usually preferred due to their better stabilization of AgNPs and good adhesion to substrates, but high conversion temperatures and incompatibility are the major drawbacks. Since low molecular-weight nitrocellulose decomposes at a relatively low temperature and possesses good adhesion properties to many substrates, it has been selected to stabilize AgNPs in methanol solutions with 3-aminopropanol as a co-stabilizer. These colloidal solutions were found to be very stable, with no evidence of aggregation over a period of 9 months, and displayed properties (viscosity, surface tension) compatible with inkjet printing technologies. The main advantages of using nitrocellulose are its property to stabilize AgNPs and its low converison temperature (degradation at 135ºC, annealing temperature at 190ºC). Films annealed on both glass and polyimide substrates showed identical overall properties (thickness, homogeneity, conductivity), demonstrating clearly the potential of nitrocellulose-stabilized AgNPs for inkjet printing of electronic circuits.

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