Sintering of nanoparticles deposited onto rigid or flexible substrate is required for many devices that use continuous and patterned thin films. An emerging need in this area is to perform nanoparticle sintering under ambient conditions, at high speeds, and with throughput that is compatible with high speed nanoparticle deposition techniques. Intense Pulsed Light sintering (IPL) uses a high energy, broad area and broad spectrum beam of xenon lamp light to sinter metallic and non-metallic nanoparticles. The capability of IPL to meet the above needs has been demonstrated. This paper experimentally examines temperature evolution and densification during IPL. It is shown, for the first time, that temperature rise and densification in IPL are related to each other. A coupled optical-thermal-sintering model on the nanoscale is developed, to understand this phenomenon. This model is used to show that the change in nanoscale shape of the nanoparticle ensemble due to sintering, reduces the optically induced heating as the densification proceeds, which provides a better explanation of experimental observations as compared to current models of IPL. The implications of this new understanding on the performance of IPL are also discussed.

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