Selective Electroless Metallization of Micro- and Nanopatterns via Poly(dopamine) Modification and Palladium Nanoparticle Catalysis for Flexible and Stretchable Electronic Applications

Jingxuan Cai, Cuiping Zhang, Arshad Khan, Liqiu Wang, Wen Di Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors report a new patterned electroless metallization process for creating micro- and nanoscale metallic structures on polymeric substrates, which are essential for emerging flexible and stretchable optical and electronic applications. This novel process features a selective adsorption of catalytic Pd nanoparticles (PdNPs) on a lithographically masked poly(dopamine) (PDA) interlayer in situ polymerized on the substrates. The moisture-resistant PDA layer has excellent stability under a harsh electroless plating bath, which enables electroless metallization on versatile substrate materials regardless of their hydrophobicity, and significantly strengthens the attachment of electroless plated metallic structures on the polymeric substrates. Prototype devices fabricated using this PDA-assisted electroless metallization patterning exhibit superior mechanical stability under high bending and stretching stress. The lithographic patterning of the PDA spatially confines the adsorption of PdNPs and reduces defects due to random adsorption of catalytic particles on the undesired area. The high resolution of the lithographic patterning enables the demonstration of a copper micrograting pattern with a linewidth down to 2 μm and a silver plasmonic nanodisk array with a 500 nm pitch. A copper mesh is also fabricated using our new patterned electroless metallization process and functions as flexible transparent electrodes with >80% visible transmittance and <1 ω sq-1 sheet resistance. Moreover, flexible and stretchable dynamic electroluminescent displays and functional flexible printed circuits are demonstrated to show the promising capability of our fabrication process in versatile flexible and stretchable electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28754-28763
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume10
Issue number34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • electroless plating
  • flexible electronics
  • flexible printed circuit
  • surface modification
  • transparent electrode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science

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