Direct gold bonding for flexible integrated electronics


Masahito Takakuwa, Kenjiro Fukuda, Tomoyuki Yokota, Daishi Inoue, Daisuke Hashizume, Shinjiro Umezu, and Takao Someya

Flexible and stable interconnections are critical for the next generation of shape-conformable and wearable electronics. These interconnections should have metal-like conductivity and sufficiently low stiffness that does not compromise the flexibility of the device; moreover, they must be achieved using low-temperature processes to prevent device damage. However, conventional interconnection bonding methods require additional adhesive layers, making it challenging to achieve these characteristics simultaneously. Here, we develop and characterize water vapor plasma–assisted bonding (WVPAB) that enables direct bonding of gold electrodes deposited on ultrathin polymer films. WVPAB bonds rough gold electrodes at room temperature and atmospheric pressure in ambient air. Hydroxyl groups generated by the plasma assist bonding between two gold surfaces, allowing the formation of a strong and stable interface. The applicability of WVPAB-mediated connections to ultrathin electronic systems was also demonstrated, and ultraflexible organic photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes fabricated on separate films were successfully interconnected via ultrathin wiring films.

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