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The influence of carbon morphologies and concentrations on the rheology and electrical performance of screen-printed carbon pastes
Journal of Materials Science, Volume: 57, Issue: 4, Pages: 2650 - 2666
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Screen-printing inks containing various morphologies of carbon are used in the production of a variety of printed electronics applications. Particle morphology influences the rheology of the ink which will affect the deposition and therefore the electrical performance of a printed component. To asse...
|Published in:||Journal of Materials Science|
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Screen-printing inks containing various morphologies of carbon are used in the production of a variety of printed electronics applications. Particle morphology influences the rheology of the ink which will affect the deposition and therefore the electrical performance of a printed component. To assess the effect of both carbon morphology and concentration on print topography and conductivity, screen printable carbon inks with differing loading concentrations of graphite, carbon black and graphite nanoplatelets (GNPs) were formulated, printed and characterised, with rheological and novel print visualisation techniques used to elucidate the mechanisms responsible. Carbon morphology had significant effects on the packing of particles. The smaller carbon black particles had more interparticle interactions leading to better conductivities, but also higher ink viscosities and elasticities than the other morphologies. Increases in carbon concentration led to increases in film thickness and roughness for all morphologies. However, beyond a critical point further increases in carbon concentration led to agglomerations of particles, mesh marking and increases in surface roughness, preventing further improvements in the print conductivity. The optimal loading concentrations were identifiable using a custom-made screen-printing apparatus used with high speed imaging for all morphologies. Notable increases in filamentation during ink separation were found to occur with further increases in carbon concentration beyond the optimum. As this point could not be identified using shear rheology alone, this method combined with shear rheology could be used to optimise the carbon concentration of screen-printing inks, preventing the use of excess material which has no benefit on print quality and conductivity.
College of Engineering
European Social Fund via the Welsh Government, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant reference: EP/L015099/1) and icmPrint Ltd.