19_05/2007Cover Picture: Microsolidics: Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Metallic Microstructures in Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (Adv. Mater. 5/2007)

Flexible metallic wires embedded in poly(dimethylsiloxane) are produced with microscale dimensions by injecting heated, liquid solder into microfluidic channels and cooling, as reported by George Whitesides and co-workers on p. 727. This approach is used to fabricate complex, metallic microstructures that are twisted (as shown), rolled, or woven into fabrics. The structures can be rigid or flexible, depending on the type of solder used, and breaks in the metal can be “healed” by reheating the device. This method of fabrication may find applications in flexible electronic circuits, 3D metallic microstructures, and hybrid electronic–microfluidic devices.

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