|Metallic thin films and nanostructures can be applied to many diverse applications due to their excellent thermal and electrical conduction, as well as unique photonic and plasmonic properties. Conventional thin metal film fabrication methods such as sputtering and vacuum evaporation have limitations in scalability and throughput. In this study, we propose a simple metal thin film forming method based on facile coating of reductive metallic (Ag) ion-containing ink followed by quick annealing. This method has a simple and strong controllability for the film thickness and surface morphology by controlling ink concentration, coating speed, and annealing condition. Further, as based on the solution processing, facile and scalable engineering of such metallic thin films into functional nanostructures by incorporating nanoimprinting and printing can be readily performed without excessive heating or pressure. As-coated metallic ink layer can be imprinted at a gentle pressure using a soft mold. The ink-coated stamp can smoothly print the metallic nanopatterns onto the target substrate. The solution-processible fabrication of metallic nanostructures may enable the facile and scalable development of flexible sensors, plasmonics, photonics, and more.
* This work is supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grants funded by the Korean Government (MSIT) (No. 2015R1A5A1037668 and 2016R1C1B2016182).