Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Neuroscience, Ames Laboratory

Document Type


Research Focus Area

Advanced and Nanostructured Materials

Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces




In this study, a simple microfluidic method, which can be universally applied to different rigid or flexible substrates, was developed to fabricate high-resolution, conductive, 2D and 3D microstructured graphene-based electronic circuits. The method involves controlled and selective filling of microchannels on substrate surfaces with a conductive binder-free graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) solution. The ethanol-thermal reaction of GNP solution at low temperatures (~75 °C) prior to microchannel filling (pre-heating) further reduces GNP, enhances conductivity, reduces sheet resistance (~0.05 kΩ sq-1), enables room temperature fabrication and eliminates harsh post-processing, which makes this fabrication technique compatible with degradable substrates. This method can also be used in combination with 3D printing to fabricate 3D circuits. The feature sizes of the graphene patterns can range from a few micrometers (down to ~15 µm in width and ~5 µm in depth) to a few millimeters and use very small amounts of GNP solution (~2.5 mg of graphene to obtain ~0.1 kΩ sq-1 of sheet resistance for 1 cm2). This microfluidic approach can also be implemented using other conductive liquids, such as conductive graphene-silver solutions. This technology has the potential to pave the way for low-cost, disposable and biodegradable circuits for a range of electronic applications including near field communication antennas, pressure or strain sensors.


This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b23460. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

American Chemical Society



File Format


Published Version