Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry




Metal films, Stretchable electronics, Wearable electronics



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Wearable electronics are becoming increasingly common in daily life for a variety of uses. Wearable electronic devices that wish not to be bulky and cumbersome to the user must be stretchable and conformable to the human body. This is a challenge, however, as stretchable polymers are often not as conductive as metal conductors, and metal films applied to elastic substrates are themselves inelastic and will rupture at very low elongations, rendering devices unusable. By using subsurface modification of a multilayered elastomer and brittle layer system, it is possible to offer strain delocalization to a gold film in order to induce microcracking and preserve conductivity up to 100% elongation.

Chapter 3 outlines this multilayered system which utilizes polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)as a stretchable substrate, upon which brittle SiO2 is deposited. A membrane then covers this brittle layer, smoothening the surface to receive gold. This robust system is able to remain conductive up to 100% elongation, with very high gauge sensitivity. Society’s increased reliance on electronics results in a concerning amount of electronic waste. Chapter 4 offers a study of films of shellac, a biodegradable resinous material with many desirable traits, such as dielectric and moisture barrier properties. Films of shellac from various alcoholic lacquer were studied with a focus on film roughness, and shellac’s printability was studied using a slot die coater