Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Konstantinos A Sierros
Darran R Cairns
Edward M Sabolsky
Nowadays there is a growing interest to develop flexible devices that can be used in applications spanning from displays to energy harvesting. This is due to the potential of such devices to be integrated onto various-shaped surfaces and also to be roll-to-roll processed. However, there are still a few challenges to be tackled before their full commercialization. In particular, the direct fabrication of micro/nano-scale functional features on a large-area flexible substrate remains a critical challenge. This is because it requires both low temperature processing and precise control of the feature size.;During this study an investigation of different fabrication methods, such as hydrothermal growth and dip-pen nanolithography (DPN), is conducted in order to assess their suitability for the large-area deposition of ZnO-based simple geometrical patterns on flexible substrates. These model micro/nano structures are characterized optically, electrically, and mechanically. In addition, the preliminary fabrication and characterization of force sensors based on flexible substrates is reported.;Experimental results from this work highlight the potential of DPN as a scalable processing technique for flexible devices. In particular, the repeatable fabrication of circular micron-sized functional features on polyester substrates is reported. It was found that both the viscosity of the starting ink material and the wettability of the starting substrate play the most critical role for the successful fabrication of such features. In addition, humidity and starting ink stability must be carefully controlled. It is believed that using DPN in a scalable manner will be the key to realize the next generation of large-area nanopatterned flexible devices.
Cronin, Sean D., "Towards Direct Fabrication of Functional Patterns on Large-Area Substrates for Flexible Devices" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4957.