Entire process is at low cost and low temperature with minimal environmental footprint


Electroless Plating Polydopamine Nanoparticles

Emerging flexible electronic devices have exhibited significant potential for a wide range of applications, such as sensors, solar cells, batteries, antennas, and displays. For any flexible electronics application, an essential element is electrically conductive patterning. Solution-based additive manufacturing techniques such as drop-on-demand (DOD) inkjet printing, slot die coating, and gravure printing are being widely investigated to fabricate flexible conductive patterns. DOD inkjet printing is an excellent candidate because it is a material-conservative, low-temperature process and is easily incorporated into large scale roll-to-roll (R2R)** manufacturing infrastructures for flexible substrates.

The present invention provides inkjet printing of an aqueous suspension of synthesized mussel-inspired poly(dopamine) nanoparticles. Fine lines of printed nanoparticles have been deposited on both glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates by exploiting the coffee ring effect. Deposited particles were then used for site-selective silver/copper metallization via a simple electroless plating process at controlled temperature and plating time. The resulting narrow lines of silver exhibited a resistivity 10.0 times that of bulk silver, and the resulting narrow lines of copper exhibited a resistivity 6.5 times that of bulk copper. Lines on PET retained good electrical and adhesion performance even after many bending cycles. This technique satisfies general requirements of flexible electronics manufacturing – low temperature, low cost, small feature size and good electrical conductivity independent of substrate material.


Printed Electronics Manufacturing
Flexible Electronics


Entire process is at low cost and low temperature with minimal environmental footprint
Achieved structure shows high electrical conductivity independent of substrate material
Process is transferrable to various material systems and con-serves material


U.S. Patent Application 62/090,668


**The Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM), a microelectronics R&D commercialization center at Binghamton University, demonstrates the feasibility of roll-to-roll flexible electronics manufacturing in partnership with industry. Its 10,000- square-foot facility boasts a panel line for process and product development and an integrated roll-to-roll research line for product development. CAMM has helped expand the domain of Roll-to-roll to include lightweight, thin plastic, and flexible glass.

Scheme 1 (a) Poly(dopamine) nanoparticles (PDA-NP) were prepared as aqueous ink and inkjet printed on glass and polymeric substrates; (b) patterned lines of PDA-NP were formed after evaporation; (c) Ag was site-selectively deposited on PDA-NP after electroless plating. 

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