Facile in situ formation of high conductive Ag and CuxOy composite films: a role of aqueous spray combustion
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In the present contribution, in situ formation of low-temperature high conductive composite films composed of pure silver and oxides of copper (CuxOy where, x = y = 1 for CuO and x = 2, y = 1 for Cu2O), are presented through spray combustion with a balanced stoichiometric redox reaction. High electrical conductivity (~ 7.8 × 105 S/cm) was retained in the composite film at an annealing temperature of 170 °C with matrix silver phase being 50% by volume. Whereas electrical conductivity of spray combustion processed pure silver is found to be ~ 2 × 106 S/cm. In situ formation of the composite film directly from the silver and cupric nitrate aqueous precursor solution through spray combustion proves it to be compositionally tunable with minimal usage of noble metal. Presence of Ag and CuxOy is confirmed by X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The ratio of Cu1+/Cu2+ in the composite is found to be 0.54 and 0.43 at an annealing temperature of 170 °C and 400 °C respectively. The transformation of Cu2O to CuO is highly a thermally activated phenomenon; as the vacancy driven electrical conductivity is more in Cu2O than CuO, stabilization of Cu2O at a lower temperature is desired. The composite electrode can have potential applications in optoelectronics, printed electronics and catalysis.
This work is supported by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST) (Grant No. ECR/2015/000339).