For application of device fabrication by inkjet printing, an accurate and high resolution patterning method is required. However, high resolution inkjet printing, which limited by the inkjet nozzles and the ink movements, is one of the most challenging issues at present. An enhanced control of ink flow and spread by surface energy patterning on substrates can be used to improve the resolution and quality of the inkjet printed devices. Our strategy is depositing a hydrophobic pattern on a hydrophilic substrate, and thereafter inkjet printing the functional ink on top of the surface energy pattern. High surface energy contrast patterns on polyimide were got by microcontact printing, which can make ink moving from hydrophobic area to hydrophilic polyimide substrate. Inkjet printed silver patterns with 15 μm thin gaps were obtained by the surface energy pattern. This visible and easy processing pattern can be used widely in inkjet printing for higher resolution, more precise pattern, and smaller devices.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.