Nanostructured Ag produced by LAMA
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The Laser Ablation of Microparticle Aerosol (LAMA) process is a technique for generating aerosolized nanoparticles (NPs) from a variety of starting materials. The NP aerosol produced from the LAMA process can be accelerated through a nozzle and impacted onto a substrate, with a deposition rate up to 60 mg/hour. This direct-write process can be used to create nanostructured lines or films up to hundreds of microns thick. NPs generated from the LAMA process are bare – they are not capped by an organic like NPs generated from chemical processes. This attribute may result in significantly lower processing temperatures for the written lines, even compared to other methods involving NPs produced by chemical processes (e.g., ink-jet printing). In this dissertation, we investigated the use of LAMA-produced Ag lines for bonding surfaces at low process temperatures (100 to 175°C). We studied the effects of process temperature and compression load on the strength of the Ag bonds, as well as the resistivity and the grain size of Ag deposits produced by LAMA. With these measurements and the use of known relationships between grain size and conductivity, we determined the effects of processing parameters on the final density of the Ag deposits. The strength and resistivity measurements compare favorably with similar work but at processing temperatures 50 to 100°C lower than previously achieved. The densification results agree qualitatively with established theory for pressure-assisted sintering.