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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(9), 168; doi:10.3390/nano6090168

Controlled Mechanical Cracking of Metal Films Deposited on Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)

1
Chair of Large Area Optoelectronics, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, Wuppertal 42119, Germany
2
Institute of Electronic Devices, University of Wuppertal, Rainer-Gruenter-Str. 21, Wuppertal 42119, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ming-Tsang Lee, Te-Hua Fang and Chien-Hung Liu
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 30 August 2016 / Accepted: 7 September 2016 / Published: 9 September 2016
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Abstract

Stretchable large area electronics conform to arbitrarily-shaped 3D surfaces and enables comfortable contact to the human skin and other biological tissue. There are approaches allowing for large area thin films to be stretched by tens of percent without cracking. The approach presented here does not prevent cracking, rather it aims to precisely control the crack positions and their orientation. For this purpose, the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is hardened by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (172 nm) through an exposure mask. Only well-defined patterns are kept untreated. With these soft islands cracks at the hardened surface can be controlled in terms of starting position, direction and end position. This approach is first investigated at the hardened PDMS surface itself. It is then applied to conductive silver films deposited from the liquid phase. It is found that statistical (uncontrolled) cracking of the silver films can be avoided at strain below 35%. This enables metal interconnects to be integrated into stretchable networks. The combination of controlled cracks with wrinkling enables interconnects that are stretchable in arbitrary and changing directions. The deposition and patterning does not involve vacuum processing, photolithography, or solvents. View Full-Text
Keywords: cracking; control; stretchable; PDMS; lithography; silver; electroless deposition cracking; control; stretchable; PDMS; lithography; silver; electroless deposition
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Polywka, A.; Stegers, L.; Krauledat, O.; Riedl, T.; Jakob, T.; Görrn, P. Controlled Mechanical Cracking of Metal Films Deposited on Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 168.

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