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The effect of plasma functionalization on the print performance and time stability of graphite nanoplatelet electrically conducting inks
Journal of Coatings Technology and Research, Volume: 18, Issue: 1, Pages: 193 - 203
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Carbon-based pastes and inks are used extensively in a wide range of printed electronics because of their widespread availability, electrical conductivity and low cost. Overcoming the inherent tendency of the nano-carbon to agglomerate to form a stable dispersion is necessary if these inks are to be...
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Carbon-based pastes and inks are used extensively in a wide range of printed electronics because of their widespread availability, electrical conductivity and low cost. Overcoming the inherent tendency of the nano-carbon to agglomerate to form a stable dispersion is necessary if these inks are to be taken from the lab scale to industrial production. Plasma functionalization of graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) adds functional groups to their surface to improve their interaction with the polymer resin. This offers an attractive method to overcome these problems when creating next generation inks. Both dynamic and oscillatory rheology were used to evaluate the stability of inks made with different loadings of functionalized and unfunctionalized GNP in a thin resin, typical of a production ink. The rheology and the printability tests showed the same level of dispersion and electrical performance had been achieved with both functionalized and unfunctionalized GNPs. The unfunctionalized GNPs agglomerate to form larger, lower aspect particles, reducing interparticle interactions and particle–medium interactions. Over a 12-week period, the viscosity, shear thinning behavior and viscoelastic properties of the unfunctionalized GNP inks fell, with decreases in viscosity at 1.17 s−1 of 24, 30, 39% for the ϕ = 0.071, 0.098, 0.127 GNP suspensions, respectively. However, the rheological properties of the functionalized GNP suspensions remained stable as the GNPs interacted better with the polymer in the resin to create a steric barrier which prevented the GNPs from approaching close enough for van der Waals forces to be effective.
College of Engineering