Universal Nature-Inspired and Amine-Promoted Metallization for Flexible Electronics and Supercapacitors

Hua Zhang, Ping Zhang, Hanzhi Zhang, Xiaohong Li, Lin Lei, Lina Chen, Zijian Zheng, You Yu

    Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Economical and abundant natural biological materials provide a low-cost and scalable approach to develop next-generation flexible and wearable electronics. Herein, a universal strategy of nature-inspired and amine-promoted metallization, namely, NIAPM, is presented to make high-quality metals for electronics fabrication. The introduction of poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) significantly shortens the time of metallization from >48 h to ≈6 h, and the phenol compounds (TP) from green tea make metals bond tightly on all demonstrated surfaces. The as-made thin metal films of Cu and Ni feature high conductivity (∼1.0 Ω/□), excellent mechanical stability and flexibility even at the bending radius of ∼1 mm. Moreover, NIAPM is compatible with typical lithography techniques for fabricating metallic patterns, showing considerable potential applications in flexible electronics. As a proof-of-concept, two devices based on melamine-templated Cu sponges are first prepared for detecting the change of external pressure with a resistance sensitivity of 18.1 kPa-1 and collecting high-viscosity crude oil, respectively. Then, a high-performance bendable solid supercapacitor is demonstrated using as-prepared Ni metallized fabrics and the activated porous carbon from the recycled waste in NIPAM as flexible electrodes, which possesses comparable areal capacitance of 45.5 F·g-1, and energy density of 7.88 Wh·g-1 at the power density of 35 W·g-1. Therefore, it is anticipated that such a time-saving, cost-effective and whole solution-processed NIAPM strategy can inspire further practical applications in the fields of surface chemistry, material science, flexible and wearable electronics, etc.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28963-28970
    Number of pages8
    JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
    Issue number34
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2018


    • electroless metallization
    • flexible electronics
    • mussel-inspired polymer
    • natural biological materials
    • plant polyphenols

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Materials Science


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