Plasma enhanced inkjet printing of particle-free silver ink on polyester fabric for electronic devices

Thomas Jones (Lead / Corresponding author), Andrew Hourd, Tang Chung Liu, Lu-Chiang Jia, Chia-Mei Lung, Svetlana A. Zolotovskaya, Amin Abdolvand, Chao-Yi Tai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Most formulations of metal inks comprise of a suspension of nanoparticles however, these suffer when printed by the formation of unwanted agglomeration. The exploration and optimisation of particle-free silver-complex ink is causing a strong demand for inkjet printing of these formulations over nanoparticle-based suspension inks. This is due to the enhanced printability and rapid conversion via thermal reduction into a conductive material, which can be utilised in electronics manufacture. We developed a silver-complex ink for ‘smart-clothing’ through inkjet printing. The high-quality printing - characterised by no satellite droplet formation and fast speed - is demonstrated upon polyester fabric by the formation of electrical circuitry using a thermal reduction process. Fabric printing is limited by good metal coverage and adhesion, which we demonstrate and improve on in the work by the application of a low temperature, atmospheric air plasma pre-treatment to the polyester surface, which improves printed silver density and coverage using a plasma device which is easy to operate and economic. Printed silver layer reduction and film crystallinity is characterised from high resolution scanning electron microscopy, and spectroscopy (Ultraviolet-visible and Raman) detailing growth mechanisms for high track feature conductivity, producing a low sheet resistivity of 1.378 ± 0.001 Ω/□ and by the lighting of a 1.9 V, 250 mA Light Emitting Device, highlighting its application for conductive features processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100103
Number of pages7
JournalMicro and Nano Engineering
Volume14
Early online date29 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Conductive
  • Fabric
  • Ink
  • Inkjet
  • Particle free
  • Polyester
  • Silver

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