Transparent conductive coatings by printing coffee ring arrays obtained at room temperature

Michael Layani, Michael Gruchko, Oded Milo, Isaac Balberg, Doron Azulay, Shlomo Magdassi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


We report here a concept for utilization of the "coffee ring effect" and inkjet printing to obtain transparent conductive patterns, which can replace the widely used transparent conductive oxides, such as ITO. The transparent conductive coating is achieved by forming a 2-D array of interconnected metallic rings. The rim of the individual rings is less than 10 μm in width and less than 300 nm in height, surrounding a "hole" with a diameter of about 150 μm; therefore the whole array of the interconnected rings is almost invisible to the naked eye. The rims of the rings are composed of self-assembled, closely packed silver nanoparticles, which make the individual rings and the resulting array electrically conductive. The resulting arrays of rings have a transparency of 95%; resistivity of 0.5 cm 2 was 4 ± 0.5 Omega;/□, which is better than conventional ITO transparent thin films.The silver rings and arrays are fabricated by a very simple, low cost process, based on inkjet printing of a dispersion of 0.5 wt % silver nanoparticles (∼20 nm diameter) on plastic substrates. The performance of this transparent conductive coating was demonstrated by using it as an electrode for a plastic electroluminescent device, demonstrating the applicability of this concept in plastics electronics. It is expected that such transparent conductive coatings can be used in a wide range of applications such as displays (LCD, plasma, touch screens, e-paper), lighting devices (electroluminescence, OLED), and solar cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3537-3542
Number of pages6
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - 24 Nov 2009


  • Coffee ring
  • Conductive
  • Effect
  • ITO
  • Inkjet
  • Transparent


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