Cu ion ink for a flexible substrate and highly conductive patterning by intensive pulsed light sintering

Byung Yong Wang, Tae Hee Yoo, Yong Won Song, Dae Soon Lim, Young Jei Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Citations (Scopus)


Direct printing techniques that utilize nanoparticles to mitigate environmental pollution and reduce the processing time of the routing and formation of electrodes have received much attention lately. In particular, copper (Cu) nanoink using Cu nanoparticles offers high conductivity and can be prepared at low cost. However, it is difficult to produce homogeneous nanoparticles and ensure good dispersion within the ink. Moreover, Cu particles require a sintering process over an extended time at a high temperature due to high melting temperature of Cu. During this process, the nanoparticles oxidize quickly in air. To address these problems, the authors developed a Cu ion ink that is free of Cu particles or any other impurities. It consequently does not require separate dispersion stability. In addition, the developed ink is environmentally friendly and can be sintered even at low temperatures. The Cu ion ink was sintered on a flexible substrate using intense pulsed light (IPL), which facilitates large-area, high-speed calcination at room temperature and at atmospheric pressures. As the applied light energy increases, the Cu 2O phase diminishes, leaving only the Cu phase. This is attributed to the influence of formic acid (HCOOH) on the Cu ion ink. Only the Cu phase was observed above 40 J cm-2. The Cu-patterned film after sintering showed outstanding electrical resistivity in a range of 3.21-5.27 μΩ·cm at an IPL energy of 40-60 J cm-2. A spiral-type micropattern with a line width of 160 μm on a PI substrate was formed without line bulges or coffee ring effects. The electrical resistivity was 5.27 μΩ·cm at an energy level of 40.6 J cm-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4113-4119
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 22


  • Cu ion ink
  • flexible substrate
  • high electric conductivity
  • inkjet printing
  • intensive pulsed light
  • rollerball pen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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