High-resolution, high-aspect ratio conductive wires embedded in plastic substrates

Ankit Mahajan, Woo Jin Hyun, S. Brett Walker, Jennifer A. Lewis, Lorraine F. Francis, C. Daniel Frisbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


A novel method is presented to fabricate high-resolution, high-aspect ratio metal wires embedded in a plastic substrate for flexible electronics applications. In a sequential process, high-resolution channels connected to low-resolution reservoirs are first created in a thermosetting polymer by imprint lithography. A reactive Ag ink is then inkjet-printed into the reservoirs and wicked into the channels by capillary forces. These features serve as a seed layer for copper deposition inside the channels via electroless plating. Highly conductive wires (>50% bulk metal) with minimum line width and spacing of 2 and 4 μm, respectively, and an aspect ratio of 0.6 are obtained. The embedded wires exhibit good mechanical flexibility, with minimal degradation in electrical performance after thousands of bending cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1847
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • copper electroless plating
  • flexible electronics
  • high-resolution metal lines
  • imprint lithography
  • inkjet printing

MRSEC Support

  • Shared

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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