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Water-Based Isotropically Conductive Adhesives: Towards Green and Low-Cost Flexible Electronics

Authors

  • Cheng Yang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Energy & Environment, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, 2279 Li Shui Road, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, P. R. China
    2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
    3. School of Materials and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0245, USA
    • Division of Energy & Environment, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, 2279 Li Shui Road, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, P. R. China
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  • Wei Lin,

    1. School of Materials and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0245, USA
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  • Zhongyu Li,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Rongwei Zhang,

    1. School of Materials and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0245, USA
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  • Haoran Wen,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Bo Gao,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Guohua Chen,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Ping Gao,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Matthew M. F. Yuen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, P. R. China
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  • Ching Ping Wong

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Materials and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0245, USA
    • School of Materials and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0245, USA.
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Abstract

This paper reports the first high-performance water-based isotropically conductive adhesives (WBICAs) – a promising material for both electrical interconnects and printed circuits for ultralow-cost flexible/foldable printed electronics. Through combining surface iodination and in situ reduction treatment, the electrically conductivity of the WBICAs are dramatically improved (8 × 10-5 Ω cm with 80 wt% of silver); moreover, their reliability (stable for at least 1440 h during 85 °C/85% RH aging) meets the essential requirements for microelectronic applications. Prototyped applications in carrying light emitting diode (LED) arrays and radio frequency identification (RFID) antennas on flexible substrates were demonstrated, which showed satisfactory performances. Moreover, their water-based character may render them more environmentally benign (no volatile organic chemicals involved in the printing and machine maintenance processes), more convenient in processing (reducing the processing steps), and energy economic (thermally sintering the silver fillers and curing the resin is not necessary unlike conventional ICAs). Therefore, they are especially advantageous for mass-fabricating flexible electronic devices when coupled with paper and other low-cost substrate materials such as PET, PI, wood, rubber, and textiles.

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