Shape-Tuned Junction Resistivity and Self-Damping Dynamics in Intense Pulsed Light Sintering of Silver Nanostructure Films

Hyun Jun Hwang, Rajiv Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Concurrently reducing processing temperature, electrical resistance, and material cost with scalable fabrication capabilities is critical for conductive elements of flexible and planar electronics. Intense pulsed light sintering (IPL) of mixed dissimilar-shape conductive nanostructures may achieve this goal. However, this potential is hindered by knowledge gaps on how dissimilarity in nanostructure shape affects interparticle neck growth kinetics in general and the self-damping coupling between neck growth and optical absorption in IPL. We study these phenomena for IPL of mixed Ag nanowires (NWs, 40 nm diameter, 100-200 μm length) and nanospheres (NSs, 40 nm diameter), both experimentally and by linking molecular dynamics simulations with optical modeling. An optimal 50:50 mixing ratio lowers resistivity (5.59 μ ·cm) and peak temperatures (250-150 °C) relative to pure NS films and reduces material costs relative to pure NW films with similar resistivity, in 2.5 s of IPL. The drop in peak temperatures in consecutive optical pulses reduces with greater NW content. Sintering-induced dislocation generation drives higher neck growth at NW-NS and NW-NW interfaces and anisotropic neck growth at NW-NS interfaces. This indicates that when NWs are introduced into NS films, along with lesser number of interfacial contact points, an inherent reduction in sintering-induced junction resistivity plays a major role in reducing film resistivity. The self-damping coupling and optical absorption, which drive temperature evolution in IPL, are tunable by nanostructure shape. The introduction of NWs into a NS ensemble reduces the dependence of optical absorption on neck growth. We discuss how these insights elucidate a set of physical phenomena that can guide the choice of dissimilar shaped nanostructures to concurrently reduce resistivity and temperatures in IPL and other sintering processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3536-3546
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 23 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


  • conductivity
  • nanoparticles
  • nanowires
  • self-damping
  • sintering
  • temperature


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