Sintering and consolidation of silver nanoparticles printed on polyimide substrate films
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We investigated the sintering and consolidation phenomena of silver nanoparticles under various thermal treatment conditions when they were patterned by a contact printing technique on polyimide substrate films. The sintering of metastable silver nanoparticles commenced at 180 °C, where the point necks were formed at the contact points of the nanoparticles to reduce the overall surface area and the overall surface energy. As the temperature was increased up to 250 °C, silver atoms diffused from the grain boundaries at the intersections and continued to deposit on the interior surface of the pores, thereby filling up the remaining space. When the consolidation temperature exceeded 270 °C, the capillary force between the spherical silver particles and polyimide flat surface induced the permanent deformation of the polyimide films, leaving crater-shaped indentation marks. The bonding force between the patterned silver metal and polyimide substrate was greatly increased by the heat treatment temperature and the mechanical interlocking by the metal particle indentation.
Keywordssilver nanoparticles sintering polyimide capillary force
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