Date Published:APR, 2010
A new approach to achieve coalescence and sintering of metallic nanoparticles at room temperature is presented. It was discovered that silver nanoparticles behave as soft particles when they come into contact with oppositely charged polyelectrolytes and undergo a spontaneous coalescence process, even without heating. Utilizing this finding in printing conductive patterns, which are composed of silver nanoparticles, enables achieving high conductivities even at room temperature. Due to the sintering of nanoparticles at room temperature, the formation of conductive patterns on plastic substrates and even on paper is made possible. The resulting high conductivity, 20% of that for bulk silver, enabled fabrication of various devices as demonstrated by inkjet printing of a plastic electroluminescent device.