Indexed on: 28 Apr '18Published on: 28 Apr '18Published in: Scientific Reports
Existing techniques for patterning metallic structures on elastomers are limited in terms of resolution, yield and scalability. The primary constraint is the incompatibility of their physical properties with conventional cleanroom techniques. We demonstrate a reliable fabrication strategy to transfer high resolution metallic structures of <500 nm in dimension on elastomers. The proposed method consists of producing a metallic pattern using conventional lithographic techniques on silicon coated with a thin sacrificial aluminium layer. Subsequent wet etching of the sacrificial layer releases the elastomer with the embedded metallic pattern. Using this method, a nano-resistor with minimum feature size of 400 nm is fabricated on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and applied in gas sensing. Adsorption of solvents in the PDMS causes swelling and increases the device resistance, which therefore enables the detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sensitivity to chloroform and toluene vapor with a rapid response (~30 s) and recovery (~200 s) is demonstrated using this PDMS nano-resistor at room temperature.