PITA Fiscal Year 2009 Projects - Product and Process Design and Optimization

Metal Inks for Printed Electronics

Principal Investigators: Rick McCullough, Lisa Porter

The increased interest in printable electronics as rapidly growing alternatives to silicon-based technologies is fueled by the promise of large-area, flexible, and ultra-low-cost devices. To enable the growing demands of printing processes we propose to develop metal-containing inks for the deposition of the coinage metals - copper, silver, and gold. These metals are critical chip components ranging from interconnects to source and drain contacts in organic field effect transistors. The liquid ink approach is based on coordination chemistry and self-reducing ligands that can be heated or irradiated to yield metallic films. Ultimately inkjet printing technologies will be employed to deposit these metal inks in specific, predetermined patterns which can be directly transformed into circuitry using a laser. The versatility of this approach holds the possibility of printing any metallic design and pattern on any substrate.