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Proceedings Paper

Stretchable multilayer self-aligned interconnects fabricated using excimer laser photoablation and in situ masking
Author(s): Kevin L. Lin; Kanti Jain
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Paper Abstract

Stretchable interconnects are essential to large-area flexible circuits and large-area sensor array systems, and they play an important role towards the realization of the realm of systems which include wearable electronics, sensor arrays for structural health monitoring, and sensor skins for tactile feedback. These interconnects must be reliable and robust for viability, and must be flexible, stretchable, and conformable to non-planar surfaces. This research describes the design, modeling, fabrication, and testing of stretchable interconnects on polymer substrates using metal patterns both as functional interconnect layers and as in-situ masks for excimer laser photoablation. Excimer laser photoablation is often used for patterning of polymers and thin-film metals. The fluences for photoablation of polymers are generally much lower than the threshold fluence for removal or damage of high-thermallyconductive metals; thus, metal thin films can be used as in-situ masks for polymers if the proper fluence is used. Selfaligned single-layer and multi-layer interconnects of various designs (rectilinear and 'meandering') have been fabricated, and certain 'meandering' interconnect designs can be stretched up to 50% uniaxially while maintaining good electrical conductivity and structural integrity. These results are compared with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models and are observed to be in good accordance with them. This fabrication approach eliminates masks and microfabrication processing steps as compared to traditional fabrication approaches; furthermore, this technology is scalable for large-area sensor arrays and electronic circuits, adaptable for a variety of materials and interconnects designs, and compatible with MEMS-based capacitive sensor technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7204, Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XIV, 720409 (23 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.809235
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin L. Lin, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)
Kanti Jain, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7204:
Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology XIV
Mary-Ann Maher; Jung-Chih Chiao; Paul J. Resnick, Editor(s)

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