In-Depth Study of Laser Diode Ablation of Kapton Polyimide for Flexible Conductive Substrates
This work presents a detailed study of the photothermal ablation of Kapton® polyimide by a laser diode targeting its electrical conductivity enhancement. Laser-treated samples were structurally characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), as well as Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform (DRIFT) spectroscopy. The results show that the laser-assisted ablation constitutes a simple one-step and environmental friendly method to induce graphene-derived structures on the surface of polyimide films. The laser-modified surface was also electrically characterized through the Transmission Line Method (TLM) aiming at the improvement of the conductivity of the samples by tuning the laser power and the extraction of the contact resistance of the electrodes. Once the laser-ablation process is optimized, the samples increase their conductivity up to six orders of magnitude, being comparable to that of graphene obtained by chemical vapor deposition or by the reduction of graphene-oxide. Additionally, we show that the contact resistance can be decreased down to promising values of ∼ 2 Ω when using silver-based electrodes.