Highly conductive electronics circuits from aerosol jet printed silver inks

Scientific Reports 11, 18141 (2021)

Recently, low-cost electronics printed on lightweight, flexible and 3D shaped substrates are gaining importance in the markets of wearables and smart packaging. However, printed electronics do not meet the electrical performance of subtractive techniques because the resistivity of metallic printed patterns is still much higher than that of bulk material. To fulfil this need, low-resistive and easy printable inks for high resolution printed electronics techniques are needed. In this work, parameters of silver nanoparticles ink for micro-scale printed electronics technique, Aerosol Jet Printing, are being enhanced. To increase electrical conductivity and enhance printability, surfactants and dispersing agents were used to increase ultrasonic atomisation efficiency, obtain a uniform structure of printed lines, and narrow the width of printed patterns. Electrical measurements show a decrease in resistivity value in samples enhanced by cationic and non-ionic surfactants, by 95%, compared to initially prepared inks. Surfactant additions to silver nanoparticles Aerosol Jet Printing ink show promising features for application in modern electronics.