Microorigami:  Fabrication of Small, Three-Dimensional, Metallic Structures

Microcontact printing (μCP) and wet chemical etching generated two-dimensional (2D) patterns in thin silver films. Electroplating silver onto these patterns increased the structural integrity of the metal layer. Separating the metal film from the substrate resulted in free-standing, 2D structures. Folding of these structures along predesigned “hinges” produced three-dimensional (3D) objects. Additional electrodeposition of nickel welded hinges into position, strengthened the structure, and joined separate pieces. By printing onto cylindrical surfaces, it was possible to generate complex shapes efficiently and to minimize joining steps.