In the dc voltage-applied electrohydrodynamic (EHD) jet printing of metal nanoparticles, the residual charge of droplets deposited on a substrate changes the electrostatic field distribution and interrupts the subsequent printing behaviour, especially for insulating substrates that have slow charge decay rates. In this paper, a sinusoidal ac voltage was used in the EHD jet printing process to switch the charge polarity of droplets containing Ag nanoparticles, thereby neutralizing the charge on a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate. Printed Ag lines with a width of 10 μm were invisible to the naked eye. After sintering lines with 500 μm of line pitch at 180°C, a grid-type transparent electrode (TE) with a sheet resistance of ∼7 Ω sq-1and a dc to optical conductivity ratio of ∼300 at ∼84.2% optical transmittance was obtained, values that were superior to previously reported results. In order to evaluate the durability of the TE under bending stresses, the sheet resistance was measured as the number of bending cycles was increased. The sheet resistance of the Ag grid electrode increased only slightly, by less than 20% from its original value, even after 500 cycles. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that Ag (invisible) grid TEs have been fabricated on PET substrates by ac voltage applied EHD jet printing.
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© 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films