Uniform, highly conductive, and patterned transparent films of a percolating silver nanowire network on rigid and flexible substrates using a dry transfer technique
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Silver nanowire films are promising alternatives to tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) films as transparent conductive electrodes. In this paper, we report the use of vacuum filtration and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-assisted transfer printing technique to fabricate silver nanowire films on both rigid and flexible substrates, bringing advantages such as the capability of patterned transfer, the best performance among various ITO alternatives (10 Ω/sq at 85% transparency), and good adhesion to the underlying substrate, thus eliminating the previously reported adhesion problem. In addition, our method also allows the preparation of high quality patterned films of silver nanowires with different line widths and shapes in a matter of few minutes, making it a scalable process. Furthermore, use of an anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane in the transfer process allows annealing of nanowire films at moderately high temperature to obtain films with extremely high conductivity and good transparency. Using this transfer technique, we obtained silver nanowire films on a flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate with a transparency of 85%, a sheet resistance of 10 Ω/sq, with good mechanical flexibility. Detailed analysis revealed that the Ag nanowire network exhibits two-dimensional percolation behavior with good agreement between experimentally observed and theoretically predicted values of critical volume.
KeywordsAg nanowire PDMS transfer transparent electrode flexible electronics percolation network
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