Patterned free-standing conductive nanofilms for ultraconformable circuits and smart interfaces

Francesco Greco*, Alessandra Zucca, Silvia Taccola, Barbara Mazzolai, Virgilio Mattoli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


A process is presented for the fabrication of patterned ultrathin free-standing conductive nanofilms based on an all-polymer bilayer structure composed of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrene sulfonate) and poly(lactic acid) (PEDOT:PSS/PLA). Based on the strategy recently introduced by our group for producing large area free-standing nanofilms of conductive polymers with ultrahigh conformability, here an inkjet subtractive patterning technique was used, with localized overoxidation of PEDOT:PSS that caused the local irreversible loss of electrical conductivity. Different pattern geometries (e.g., interdigitated electrodes with various spacing, etc.) were tested for validating the proposed process. The fabrication of individually addressable microelectrodes and simple circuits on nanofilm having thickness ∼250 nm has been demonstrated. Using this strategy, mechanically robust, conformable ultrathin polymer films could be produced that can be released in water as free-standing nanofilms and/or collected on surfaces with arbitrary shapes, topography and compliance, including human skin. The patterned bilayer nanofilms were characterized as regards their morphology, thickness, topography, conductivity, and electrochemical behavior. In addition, the electrochemical switching of surface properties has been evaluated by means of contact angle measurements. These novel conductive materials can find use as ultrathin, conformable electronic devices and in many bioelectrical applications. Moreover, by exploiting the electrochemical properties of conducting polymers, they can act as responsive smart biointerfaces and in the field of conformable bioelectronics, for example, as electrodes on tissues or smart conductive substrates for cell culturing and stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9461-9469
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • conducting polymer
  • conformable electronics
  • inkjet
  • nanofilm
  • patterning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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