2, GGI Solutions, Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Metal-organic compounds, such as copper and silver carboxylates, form a new class of conductive inks with unique properties that offer new opportunities in printable electronics. These molecular inks are compounds that upon heating decompose into their metallic state yielding conductive traces. These materials distinguish themselves from conventional conductive inks used in printable electronic in that they do not contain metal nanoparticles or flakes, and are printed and processed as molecular precursors. Thus their molecular nature affords benefits over conventional inks such as improved printability, robust mechanical properties, high electrical conductivity and the ability to use these inks in unusual ways. Our first research goal is to understand how the metal-organic compounds decompose to form metal films. With an understanding of the mechanism of decomposition, the molecular structure of the compounds can be optimized to improve the properties of the ink. Second the compounds must be formulated to be compatible with various printing techniques, such as inkjet, screen and aerospray printing. Third, the method of processing the inks, whether thermally or photonically must be optimized in order to yield metal traces with properties that meet the demands of printable electronics. This presentation will highlight the progress we have made in understanding and optimizing copper formate and silver carboxylate inks and showcase their use in unique applications.