A novel method to make low-resistivity metal lines in assembled silicon (Si) integrated circuit (IC) chips or other semiconductor chips with high-speed and low-cost is demonstrated. In the method, functional silver (Ag)-liquid (Ag-ink) which contains Ag nanoparticles (NPs) in organic solution is used to draw metal-lines in trenches formed on a plastic substrate by imprint technology. Surface energy of trenches is modified by exposing the substrate to ultra-violet (UV) light with the purpose of concentrating the functional Ag-ink into trenches by capillary effect in order to connect with electrodes of Si chips. The resistivity of such metal-lines can be lowered to 4×10-6 Ωcm by exposing the Ag metal-lines to hydrogen (H) atoms generated by catalytic cracking reaction with a heated tungsten catalyzer. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) proves that H atoms can remove organic compounds surrounding Ag NPs, resulting in the low-temperature sintering of NPs as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The method is promising for low-cost fabricating of IC cards or other electronic devices utilizing assemble of many semiconductor chips.
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