Reactive Inkjet Printing: A Chemical Synthesis Tool
CHAPTER 10: Reactive Inkjet Printing of Metals
Published:27 Nov 2017
P. Calvert, in Reactive Inkjet Printing: A Chemical Synthesis Tool, ed. P. J. Smith and A. Morrin, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, pp. 222-239.
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The most developed route to inkjet printed metal conductors employs nanoparticle silver inks. There are significant problems in formulating stable, concentrated silver inks and the cost of producing the nanoparticles is high. An alternative is to print two solutions simultaneously, for instance solutions of a metal salt and a reducing agent. The metal then forms on the substrate. While there are unsolved problems in turning this into a practical technology, there are many choices of solutions, substrates and conditions that are unexplored. It does have the advantage over the nanoparticle approach of relaxing many of the constraints coming from needing an ink that both has good fluid properties and forms good conducting films. These issues relating to reactive inkjet printing of metals and recent studies are reviewed.