We introduce a simple and inexpensive procedure for epitaxial lift-off of wafer-size flexible and transparent foils of single-crystal gold using silicon as a template. Lateral electrochemical undergrowth of a sacrificial SiOx layer was achieved by photoelectrochemically oxidizing silicon under light irradiation. A 28-nanometer-thick gold foil with a sheet resistance of 7 ohms per square showed only a 4% increase in resistance after 4000 bending cycles. A flexible organic light-emitting diode based on tris(bipyridyl)ruthenium(II) that was spin-coated on a foil exploited the transmittance and flexibility of the gold foil. Cuprous oxide as an inorganic semiconductor that was epitaxially electrodeposited onto the gold foils exhibited a diode quality factor n of 1.6 (where n = 1.0 for an ideal diode), compared with a value of 3.1 for a polycrystalline deposit. Zinc oxide nanowires electrodeposited epitaxially on a gold foil also showed flexibility, with the nanowires intact up to 500 bending cycles.
Authors: Naveen K. Mahenderkar, Qingzhi Chen, Ying-Chau Liu, Alexander R. Duchild, Seth Hofheins, Eric Chason, Jay A. Switzer