Printed electronics are a promising means for the manufacture of low cost electronics, but an improved printed conductor material must be developed. Metal nanoparticle-based inks provide the benefit of low sintering temperature, and achieve conductivities approaching those of bulk metals. In these ink systems, higher mass loadings or solubilities of the metal nanoparticles are desired, in order to increase ink viscosities and deposit thicker lines for improved device performance.

This study examined the incorporation of multiple ligands onto gold nanoparticles in an effort to increase solubility. Compatibility with plastics is crucial for large-area electronics, so the sintering temperatures of dual-ligand particles were also examined. Nanoparticle solvation was qualitatively assessed through small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements, while solubility was quantitatively probed through mass-loading drying tests. Both solubility and sintering temperature of dual-ligand nanoparticles were found to be weighted averages of the values for single-ligand particles. Additionally, a trend of increasing solubility with increasing ligand length was found for single-ligand nanoparticle systems.




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