The rapid development of flexible and wearable electronics favors low-cost, solution-processing, and high-throughput techniques for fabricating metal contacts, interconnects, and electrodes on flexible substrates of different natures. Conventional top-down printing strategies with metal-nanoparticle-formulated inks based on the thermal sintering mechanism often suffer from overheating, rough film surface, low adhesion, and poor metal quality, which are not desirable for most flexible electronic applications. In recent years, a bottom-up strategy termed as polymer-assisted metal deposition (PAMD) shows great promise in addressing the abovementioned challenges. Here, a detailed review of the development of PAMD in the past decade is provided, covering the fundamental chemical mechanism, the preparation of various soft and conductive metallic materials, the compatibility to different printing technologies, and the applications for a wide variety of flexible and wearable electronic devices. Finally, the attributes of PAMD in comparison with conventional nanoparticle strategies are summarized and future technological and application potentials are elaborated.
- electroless deposition
- flexible and wearable electronics
- polymer-assisted metal deposition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering