Towards single-pass plasma sintering: temperature influence of atmospheric pressure plasma sintering of silver nanoparticle ink†
A combination of atmospheric pressure plasma sintering (APPS) and a mild thermal treatment of less than 110 °C was investigated in order to reduce the sintering time of inkjet-printed silver nanoparticle inks. Cold as well as warm plasma sources revealed a resistivity down to 6 times of bulk silver within a single pass at a movement speed of 20 mm s−1, which equals a reduction of process time by a factor of at least five compared to previously reported plasma sintering techniques. The developed process was used to produce components for flexible electronics, like honeycomb grid structures and UHF RFID antennas on thermo-sensitive substrate materials. This approach represents a significant step towards a roll-to-roll (R2R) compatible technology.