Advances in flexible electronics

December 27th, 2016

CORVALLIS, Ore. – ONAMI member Rajiv Malhotra's Oregon State University research has found method for faster production of advanced, flexible electronics.

Taking a deeper look at photonic sintering of silver nanoparticle films--the use of intense pulsed light, or IPL, to rapidly fuse functional conductive nanoparticles--scientists uncovered a relationship between film temperature and densification. Densification in IPL increases the density of a nanoparticle thin-film or pattern, with greater density leading to functional improvements such as greater electrical conductivity.

Malhotra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at OSU, and graduate student Shalu Bansal conducted the research. The results were recently published in Nanotechnology.

The group found a temperature turning point in IPL despite no change in pulsing energy, and discovered that this turning point appears because densification during IPL reduces the nanoparticles’ ability to absorb further energy from the light.

This previously unknown interaction between optical absorption and densification creates a new understanding of why densification levels off after the temperature turning point in IPL, and further enables large-area, high-speed IPL to realize its full potential as a scalable and efficient manufacturing process.

The work is part of a four-year, $1.5 million NSF Scalable Nanomanufacturing Grant to which ONAMI, along with that of the Murdock Charitable Trust, provided support. Co-invesigators Chih-hung Chang, Alan Wang and Greg Herman, all of whom are ONAMI members researchers. The project focuses on overcoming scientific barriers to industry-level nanomanufacturing.

Read more at Haptic Technology Online, December 22, 2016, from which this story was adapted.

Un-sintered (l) and sintered (r) nanoparticles