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Scale up Cu nanoparticle to drive down cost of production

Will copper nanoparticle inks finally come of age to disrupt the dominance of silver in the conductive paste business? Cost of production has been a major barrier despite the fact that Cu raw material prices are far lower than Ag. This is because this large raw material cost difference does not often get translated into equally large nanoparticle dispersion or ink costs.

To overcome this issue, Zachary James Davis et al at Teknologisk Institut have scaled up copper nanoparticle production with particle sizes between 30-300nm. As can be seen below, they have already achieved the following:

1) 10+ Kg per day - here the main bottleneck is the heating and mixing of the green ingredients

2) 300 Euros per Kg cost of production which is comparable to cost of production of Ag nanoparticles. This level of production cost- coupled with much lower raw material cost @36.7 Euro/Kg - can translate into a much lower product cost

3) Inkjet printable inks with DGME based solvents able to lay down 0.5-1um thick layers in a single pass achieving 60mOhm per sqr

4) screen printable versions (in development) targeting 50 mOhm/sqr

The scale up of Cu nanoparticle production with automated workflows is an important step towards making Cu ink and paste technology a commercially viable alternative to the dominant Ag inks and pastes


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