Fabrication and Characterization of Three-Dimensional Silver-Coated Polymeric Microstructures


  • This work was partially supported by a grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (PRF 42322-G5); the CREOL NSF-IGERT program (for A. T., under NSF grant no. 0114418); and Nikon Instruments and Horiba Jobin Yvon, who are members of the CREOL Industrial Affiliates program at the University of Central Florida. The authors wish to thank Mr. Kirk Scammon for his assistance in acquiring the SEM images and the referees for their encouraging and helpful comments.


A method is reported for fabricating complex 3D silver-coated polymeric microstructures. The approach is based on the creation of a crosslinked polymeric microscaffold via patterned multiphoton-initiated polymerization followed by surface-nucleated electroless deposition of silver. The conductivity and reflectivity of the resulting silver–polymer composites and the nanoscale morphology of the deposited silver are characterized. Sub-micrometer thick layers of silver can be controllably deposited onto surfaces, including those of 3D microporous forms without occluding the interior of the structure. The approach is general for silver coating crosslinked polymeric structures based on acrylate, methacrylate, and epoxide resins and provides a new path to complex 3D micrometer-scale devices with electronic, photonic, and electromechanical function.