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Fabrication of Elemental Copper by Intense Pulsed Light Processing of a Copper Nitrate Hydroxide Ink

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2015, 00:00 authored by Gabriel L. Draper, Ruvini Dharmadasa, Meghan E. Staats, Brandon W. Lavery, Thad Druffel
Printed electronics and renewable energy technologies have shown a growing demand for scalable copper and copper precursor inks. An alternative copper precursor ink of copper nitrate hydroxide, Cu2(OH)3NO3, was aqueously synthesized under ambient conditions with copper nitrate and potassium hydroxide reagents. Films were deposited by screen-printing and subsequently processed with intense pulsed light. The Cu2(OH)3NO3 quickly transformed in less than 100 s using 40 (2 ms, 12.8 J cm–2) pulses into CuO. At higher energy densities, the sintering improved the bulk film quality. The direct formation of Cu from the Cu2(OH)3NO3 requires a reducing agent; therefore, fructose and glucose were added to the inks. Rather than oxidizing, the thermal decomposition of the sugars led to a reducing environment and direct conversion of the films into elemental copper. The chemical and physical transformations were studied with XRD, SEM, FTIR and UV–vis.