2020-06-24Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/24102
Gentle plasma process for embedded silver-nanowire flexible transparent electrodes on temperature-sensitive polymer substrates
The present study investigates processing routes to obtain highly conductive and transparent electrodes of silver nanowires (AgNWs) on flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate. The AgNWs are embedded into a UV-curable polymer to reduce the electrode roughness and enhance its stability. For the purpose of device integration, the AgNWs must partially protrude from the polymer, which demands that their embedding is followed by a transfer step from a host substrate to the final substrate. Since the AgNWs require some sort of curing (thermal or plasma) to reduce the electrode sheet resistance, a thermally stable host substrate is generally used. This study shows that both thermally stable polyimide, as well as temperature-sensitive PET can be used as flexible host substrates, combined with a gentle, AgNW plasma curing. This is possible by adjusting the fabrication sequence to accommodate the plasma curing step, depending on the host substrate. As a result, embedded AgNW electrodes, transferred from polyimide-to-PET and from PET-to-PET are obtained, with optical transmittance of ∼80% (including the substrate) and sheet resistance of ∼13 Ω/sq., similar to electrodes transferred from glass-to-glass substrates. The embedded AgNW electrodes on PET show superior performance in bending tests, as compared to indium-tin-oxide electrodes. The introduced approach, involving low-cost flexible substrates, AgNW spray-coating and plasma curing, is compatible with high-throughput, roll-to-roll processing.
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