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Partic. vol. 33 pp. 35-41 (August 2017)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2016.10.005

Influence of co-solvent hydroxyl group number on properties of water-based conductive carbon pastes

Chengjie Huaa,b, Xiaoming Lib, Lijuan Shena, Hong Leib, Xiaoqian Guob, Zhuo Liub, Qingqiang Kongb, Lijing Xieb, Cheng-Meng Chenb,*

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    • Rheological behaviors of water-based conductive pastes were adjusted by using alcohol co-solvents. • Paste’s viscosity was increased with the number of hydroxyl groups for the co-solvent. • Co-solvent with two hydroxyl groups was the best in inducing Marangoni flow. • The balance between convective and Marangoni flow should be kept during drying. • Interconnected carbon black particles provided high conductivity for printed pattern.


A series of water-based conductive carbon pastes were prepared by wet ball milling, followed by vacuum defoaming using isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol or glycerin as co-solvents. Screen printing was then used to prepare conductive patterns. To determine the influence of co-solvent hydroxyl group number on the properties of water-based conductive carbon pastes, the rheological properties of the pastes and the surface morphologies and conductivities of the printed patterns were characterized. The results show that paste viscosity increased with the number of hydroxyl groups and the latter also affected thixotropy. In addition, the boiling points and surface tensions of the co-solvents increased consistently with hydroxyl group number, affecting the hydrodynamic flow. The conductive carbon paste created using propylene glycol as a co-solvent was the best for screen printing because of its weak coffee-ring effect and appropriate rheological properties, resulting in a smooth coating surface and uniform deposition of the fillers. The resistivity of the pattern printed using paste PG, containing the closest packing of conductive carbon black particles, was 0.44 Ω cm.

Graphical abstract


Water-based conductive carbon paste; Alcohol co-solvent; Screen printing; Rheological property; Marangoni flow