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Manufacturing of Electrically Conductive Microstructures by Dropwise Printing and Laser Curing of Nanoparticle-Suspensions

[+] Author Affiliations
N. R. Bieri, S. E. Haferl, D. Poulikakos

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

C. P. Grigoropoulos

University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Paper No. IMECE2002-33859, pp. 297-303; 7 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Volume 5
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3636-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


A novel method for the manufacturing of electric microconductors for semiconductor and other devices is presented. The method brings together three technologies: controlled (on demand) printing, laser curing, and the employment of nanoparticles of matter, possessing markedly different properties (here, melting point) than their bulk counterparts. A suspension of gold particles in toluene solvent is employed to print electrically conducting line patterns utilizing a modified on demand ink jet printing process. To this end, microdroplets of 80–100 μm diameters are deposited on a moving substrate such that the droplets form continuous lines. Focused laser irradiation is utilized in order to evaporate the solvent, melt the metal nanoparticles in the suspension, and sinter the suspended particles to form continuous, electrically conducting gold microlines on a substrate. The ultra fine particles in the suspension have a diameter size range of 2 – 5 nm. Due to curvature effects of such small particles, the melting point is markedly lower (400°C) than that of bulk gold (1063°C). Thermodynamic aspects of the effect of particle size on the melting and evaporation temperatures of gold and toluene, respectively, are discussed in the paper. The structure and line width of the cured line as a function of the laser irradiation power and stage velocity are reported in detail. Preliminary measurements of the electrical conductivity are represented.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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