A New Method of Thin Film Patterning for Electronic and Medical Devices

Microscopic image of engineered patterns created on Bismuth thin film

Invention Summary:

The need to easily pattern thin film materials is widespread among the electronic and biomedical communities. However, the main approaches currently used face challenges of adapting to rapid processing and design change of patterned films, reducing material loss and high cost, or dealing with harmful chemicals.

Rutgers researchers have developed a new method of patterning thin films, which applies a relatively low powered focused beam to dewet the metal from the substrate and effectively writes the negative space of the desired design without significant loss of the deposited  film mass and little damage to heat sensitive substrates. The laser can be driven by computer aided control to write patterns as needed. In addition, this method allows one to displace the material into adjacent structures thereby building film thickness without the requirement of depositing thicker films. This method addresses the shortcomings of approaches used today.  

Market Applications:

  • Electrochemical devices
  • Microfluidic devices
  • Flexible sensors
  • Implantable sensors
  • Ingestible probes
  • Plasmonic color printing


  • User-determined metal feature thickness
  • Flexible substrates allow highly adaptable geometries for consumer and industrial electronics
  • Without deposit or remove materials
  • Low cost

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

  • Issued patent: US 10,179,952
  • Available for licensing and/or research collaboration
Patent Information:
Deborah Perez
Associate Director, Physical Sciences & Ag
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey