Transparent Silver Nanowire Films | July 6, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 27 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 27 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 6, 2009

Transparent Silver Nanowire Films

Metal nanowires cast as thin-film electrodes could replace indium tin oxide in future display technologies
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: thin films, nanowires, transparent, electrode, ITO

Silver nanowires cast as flexible, transparent thin films could be the improved replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO) thin-film electrodes that scientists have been looking for, report Jonathan N. Coleman of Trinity College Dublin and coworkers (ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn900348c). ITO is today’s most common transparent electrode material and is found in flat-panel, touch-screen, and plasma displays, among other technologies. But the material is brittle, requires high-temperature processing, and is expensive because of the growing scarcity of indium. Scientists searching for ITO substitutes have had trouble finding a material endowed with the right combination of properties. Coleman and colleagues now show that nanometer-thick films of silver nanowires exhibit electrical and optical properties comparable with ITO’s and remain unchanged even after being flexed more than 1,000 times. In addition, because the films are prepared from aqueous dispersions, it may be possible to fabricate large-area electrodes via spray processing, the group notes.

 
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