Molecular-level self-assembly processes allow the formation of novel materials with properties that are not
achievable using conventional fabrication methods. For example, nanostructured metals and polymers may be combined
to form inorganic/organic materials that exhibit properties typically associated with each of these species separately,
namely high electrical conductivity and low Young's modulus. The combination of such properties is of interest for a
number of engineering applications. For example, methods to form stretchable metal conductors, either on elastomeric
substrates or as free-standing materials, have been investigated for some time, in part as a way to overcome the high
modulus of sensor and actuator electrode materials, and more generally to address the need for mechanically flexible
interconnections in polymer electronic devices, flex circuits, electronic textiles and similar electrical circuit applications.
Of particular recent interest for example is summarized in  where a process to form electrical connectivity using 100
nm-wide gold stripes evaporated onto polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is reported, and where non-zero electrical
conductivity was observed for strains up to 22%.