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

*Corresponding author for this work

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
Pages (from-to)1841-1847
Number of pages7
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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


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