Researchers have developed a new technique that uses silver nanowires for printing circuits, according to a study conducted on February 26, 2018.
The applications of silver nanowires have increased in the past few years due to the flexible, stretchable and conductive properties they offer the products. Until now, various challenges have been faced in printing circuits using silver nanowires. Circuits can be printed using silver nanoparticles, however, they produce brittle and less conductive circuits. Silver nanowires cannot be used in the conventional techniques of circuit printing as the printing nozzles often get clogged by the nanowires.
Researchers of North Carolina State University have used electrohydrodynamic printing. By using this approach, clogging can be prevented as the nozzle used will be wide. The desired features will be observed in the printed circuits as sliver nanowires are present in the ink that is used for printing.
Zheng Cui, lead author of the paper said, “In addition, the solvent we use is both nontoxic and water-soluble. Once the circuit is printed, the solvent can simply be washed off.” Scaling up of this technique can be easily achieved. Prototypes such as wearable electrodes that uses silver nanowire circuits are being created by the researchers using this technique. A patent on this technique has been filed by the University.
Yong Zhu, a professor of mechanical engineering said, “Given the technique’s efficiency, direct writing capability, and scalability, we’re optimistic that this can be used to advance the development of flexible, stretchable electronics using silver nanowires — making these devices practical from a manufacturing perspective.” This new technique, which can be used in wearable electrodes used for electrocardiography, is expected to increase the growth of medical electrodes market, as detailed in the medical electrodes market report published by Coherent Market Insights.