Selectively Metallized Polymeric Substrates by Microcontact Printing an Aluminum(III) Porphyrin Complex

Abstract

We report a simple, low-cost method for the fabrication of copper wires and contacts on a wide range of flexible, rigid, and inert polymeric substrates. This method relies on procedures to oxidize the polymeric substrates to form surface-bound carboxylic acid groups. Patterning of an aluminum porphyrin ink using microcontact printing results in the formation of an aluminum porphyrin monolayer that is covalently anchored to the oxidized polymer surface via an aluminum−carboxylate bond. We characterize this monolayer using ultraviolet−visible absorption spectra, reflection−absorption infrared spectroscopy, and contact angle measurements. Patterned aluminum porphyrin monolayers bind a Pd/Sn colloidal catalyst from solution that subsequently initiates the selective deposition of copper in an electroless plating solution. We demonstrate the fabrication of patterned copper films on a variety of both flexible and rigid polymers with minimum feature sizes of 2 μm over 2 cm2 substrates. Measurements of electrical resistivity of copper wires fabricated on flexible poly(ethylene naphthalate) (PEN) substrates as a function of the bending radius show no negative impact on electrical performance at bending radii as small as 500 μm. Permanently damaging the PEN substrate by creasing (corresponding to a bending radius of 100 μm) results in only a modest increase in resistivity.

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Selectively Metallized Polymeric Substrates by Microcontact Printing an Aluminum(III) Porphyrin Complex