, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 427-433
Date: 18 May 2012

Highly flexible transparent film heaters based on random networks of silver nanowires

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Abstract

We demonstrate a new concept for the fabrication of flexible transparent thin film heaters based on silver nanowires. Thanks to the intrinsic properties of random networks of metallic nanowires, it is possible to combine bendability, transparency and high heating performances at low voltage, typically below 12 V which is of interest for many applications. This is currently not possible with transparent conductive oxide technologies, and it compares well with similar devices fabricated with carbon nanotubes or graphene. We present experiments on glass and poly(ethylene naphthalate) (PEN) substrates (with thicknesses of 125 μm and extremely thin 1.3 μm) with excellent heating performances. We point out that the amount of silver necessary to realize the transparent heaters is very low and we also present preliminary results showing that this material can be efficiently used to fabricate photochromic displays. To our knowledge, this is the first report of metallic nanowire-based transparent thin film heaters. We think these results could be a useful approach for the engineering of highly flexible and transparent heaters which are not attainable by existing processes.