Robust Design of a Particle-Free Silver-Organo-Complex Ink with High Conductivity and Inkjet Stability for Flexible Electronics

Mohammad Vaseem, Garret McKerricher, Atif Shamim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Currently, silver-nanoparticle-based inkjet ink is commercially available. This type of ink has several serious problems such as a complex synthesis protocol, high cost, high sintering temperatures (∼200 °C), particle aggregation, nozzle clogging, poor shelf life, and jetting instability. For the emerging field of printed electronics, these shortcomings in conductive inks are barriers for their widespread use in practical applications. Formulating particle-free silver inks has potential to solve these issues and requires careful design of the silver complexation. The ink complex must meet various requirements, such as in situ reduction, optimum viscosity, storage and jetting stability, smooth uniform sintered films, excellent adhesion, and high conductivity. This study presents a robust formulation of silver–organo-complex (SOC) ink, where complexing molecules act as reducing agents. The 17 wt % silver loaded ink was printed and sintered on a wide range of substrates with uniform surface morphology and excellent adhesion. The jetting stability was monitored for 5 months to confirm that the ink was robust and highly stable with consistent jetting performance. Radio frequency inductors, which are highly sensitive to metal quality, were demonstrated as a proof of concept on flexible PEN substrate. This is a major step toward producing high-quality electronic components with a robust inkjet printing process.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 29 2015

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