Chemist earns patent for flexible electronics work

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On September 7, 2021

Switzer in lab

Dr. Jay Switzer, right, works with a graduate student in an S&T lab in 2019. Photo by Andrew Layton, Missouri S&T.

Dr. Jay Switzer, Chancellor’s Professor of chemistry at Missouri S&T, has patented a new method of creating metal foils with ordered crystal structure. Using silicon as a template to shape and form thin, high-performance metal films allows them to remain flexible and maintain the order of the silicon substrate. 

The metal-based foils made of gold, silver or copper are used in making electronics, especially flexible electronics used in wearable technology. 

“With this new method, we are able to produce gold foils by epitaxial lift-off from silicon single crystals,” Switzer says. “We use gold, which in bulk is quite expensive, but we work with gold that is only nanometers thick, so the cost is pennies instead of thousands of dollars. The gold is thin enough to be quite transparent.”

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On September 7, 2021. Posted in Accomplishments