Rolling silver nanowire electrodes: Simultaneously addressing adhesion, roughness, and conductivity

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Journal titleACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Pages1266312671; # of pages: 9
SubjectDiffuse transmission; Indium tin oxide substrates; Organic light emitting diodes(OLEDs); Organic photovoltaics; Polyethylene terephthalates (PET); Silver nanowires; Spray coating; Transparent electrode; Adhesion; Coatings; Electric conductivity; Flexible electronics; Heat resistance; Nanowires; Organic light emitting diodes (OLED); Rolling; Sheet resistance; Topology; Transparency; Electrodes
AbstractSilver nanowire mesh electrodes represent a possible mass-manufacturable route toward transparent and flexible electrodes for plastic-based electronics such as organic photovoltaics (OPVs), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), and others. Here we describe a route that is based upon spray-coated silver nanowire meshes on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheets that are treated with a straightforward combination of heat and pressure to generate electrodes that have low sheet resistance, good optical transmission, that are topologically flat, and adhere well to the PET substrate. The silver nanowire meshes were prepared by spray-coating a solution of silver nanowires onto PET, in air at slightly elevated temperatures. The as-prepared silver nanowire electrodes are highly resistive due to the poor contact between the individual silver nanowires. Light pressure applied with a stainless steel rod, rolled over the as-sprayed silver nanowire meshes on PET with a speed of 10 cm s-1 and a pressure of 50 psi, results in silver nanowire mesh arrays with sheet resistances of less than 20 Ω/□. Bending of these rolled nanowire meshes on PET with different radii of curvature, from 50 to 0.625 mm, showed no degradation of the conductivity of the electrodes, as shown by the constant sheet resistance before and after bending. Repeated bending (100 times) around a rod with a radius of curvature of 1 mm also showed no increase in the sheet resistance, demonstrating good adherence and no signs of delamination of the nanowire mesh array. The diffuse and direct transmittance of the silver nanowires (both rolled and as-sprayed) was measured for wavelengths from 350 to 1200 nm, and the diffuse transmission was similar to that of the PET substrate; the direct transmission decreases by about 7-8%. The silver nanowires were then incorporated into OPV devices with the following architecture: transparent electrode/PEDOT:PSS/P3HT:PC61BM/LiF/Al. While slightly lower in efficiency than the standard indium tin oxide substrate (ITO), the rolled silver nanowire electrodes had a very good device yield, showing that short circuits resulting from the silver nanowire electrodes can be successfully avoided by this rolling approach. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT-INNT)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270908
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Record identifierf2d2f6b8-0b42-4f54-9777-957bd5ed0022
Record created2014-02-18
Record modified2016-05-09
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