Papers Abstract

Highly adhesive and high fatigue-resistant copper/PET flexible electronic substrates
A voidless Cu/PET substrate is fabricated by producing a superhydrophilic PET surface comprised of nanostructures with large width and height and then by Cu electroless plating. Effect of PET surface nanostructure size on the failure mechanism of the Cu/PET substrate is studied. The fabricated Cu/PET substrate exhibits a maximum peel strength of 1300 N m−1 without using an interlayer, and virtually no increase in electrical resistivity under the extreme cyclic bending condition of 1 mm curvature radius after 300 k cycles. The authors find that there is an optimum nanostructure size for the highest Cu/PET adhesion strength, and the failure mechanism of the Cu/PET flexible substrate depends on the PET surface nanostructure size. Thus, this work presents the possibility to produce flexible metal/polymer electronic substrates that have excellent interfacial adhesion between the metal and polymer and high fatigue resistance against repeated bending. Such metal/polymer substrates provides new design opportunities for wearable electronic devices that can withstand harsh environments and have extended lifetimes.