Selective deposition of silver and copper films by condensation coefficient modulation

Varagnolo, Silvia; Lee, J; Amari, H and Hatton, R. A. (2020). Selective deposition of silver and copper films by condensation coefficient modulation. Materials Horizons, 7(1), article no. 143.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/c9mh00842j

Abstract

Whilst copper and silver are the conductors of choice for myriad current and emerging applications, patterning these metals is a slow and costly process. We report the remarkable finding that an extremely thin (∼10 nm) printed layer of specific organofluorine compounds enables selective deposition of copper and silver vapour, with metal condensing only where the organofluorine layer is not. This unconventional approach is fast, inexpensive, avoids metal waste and the use of harmful chemical etchants, and leaves the metal surface uncontaminated. We have used this approach to fabricate thin films of these metals with 6 million apertures cm−2 and grids of ∼1 μm lines, through to 10 cm diameter apertures. We have also fabricated semi-transparent organic solar cells in which the top silver electrode is patterned with a dense array of 2 μm diameter apertures, which cannot be achieved by any other scalable means directly on an organic electronic device.

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