Sub-second carbon-nanotube-mediated microwave sintering for high-conductivity silver patterns on plastic substrates†
A method of microwave sintering that is mediated by carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has been developed to obtain high-conductivity Ag patterns on the top of heat-sensitive plastic substrates within a short time. The Ag patterns are printed on CNTs formed on plastic substrates and rapidly heated to a great extent by the heat transferred from the microwave-heated CNTs. The conductivity of the microwave-sintered Ag patterns reaches ∼39% that of bulk Ag within 1 s without substrate deformation. Furthermore, microwave sintering enhances the adhesion of Ag patterns to the thermoplastic substrates because the sintering causes interfacial fusion between the Ag patterns and the substrates, and CNTs physically connect the patterns with the substrates.