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Keywords:

  • conducting materials;
  • microfabrication;
  • photolithography;
  • poly(dimethylsiloxane);
  • silver

Abstract

Conductive photodefinable polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composites that provide both high electrical conductivity and photopatternability have been developed. The photosensitive composite materials, which consist of a photosensitive component, a conductive filler, and a PDMS pre-polymer, can be used as a negative photoresist or a positive photoresist with an additional curing agent. A standard photolithographic approach has been used to fabricate conductive elastomeric microstructures. Feature sizes of 60 µm in the positive photoresist and 10 µm in the negative photoresist have been successfully achieved. Moreover, as the conductive filler, silver powders significantly improve the electrical conductivity of the PDMS polymer, but also provide enhanced mechanical and thermal properties as well as interesting biological properties. The combined electrical, mechanical, thermal, and biological properties along with photopatternability make the PDMS-Ag composite an excellent processable and structural material for various microfabrication applications.