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Photonic Sintering of Copper through the Controlled Reduction of Printed CuO Nanocrystals

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journal contribution
posted on 18.11.2015, 00:00 by Francesco Paglia, Doojin Vak, Joel van Embden, Anthony S. R. Chesman, Alessandro Martucci, Jacek J. Jasieniak, Enrico Della Gaspera
The ability to control chemical reactions using ultrafast light exposure has the potential to dramatically advance materials and their processing toward device integration. In this study, we show how intense pulsed light (IPL) can be used to trigger and modulate the chemical transformations of printed copper oxide features into metallic copper. By varying the energy of the IPL, CuO films deposited from nanocrystal inks can be reduced to metallic Cu via a Cu2O intermediate using single light flashes of 2 ms duration. Moreover, the morphological transformation from isolated Cu nanoparticles to fully sintered Cu films can also be controlled by selecting the appropriate light intensity. The control over such transformations enables for the fabrication of sintered Cu electrodes that show excellent electrical and mechanical properties, good environmental stability, and applications in a variety of flexible devices.

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