Refined Silver Nanowires | May 10, 2010 Issue - Vol. 88 Issue 19 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 88 Issue 19 | p. 36 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 10, 2010

Refined Silver Nanowires

Long, narrow nanowires make transparent electrodes for lower cost electronic devices
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: silver nanowires, transparent electrode, light-emitting diode, organic solar cell
The long, thin silver nanowires shown in this SEM image could lead to improved transparent electrodes.
Credit: ACS Nano
8819scib_naonwires_opt
 
The long, thin silver nanowires shown in this SEM image could lead to improved transparent electrodes.
Credit: ACS Nano

Advances in fabricating silver-nanowire-based electrodes that are transparent, flexible, and robust may lead to low-cost alternative electrode materials for electronics and solar-cell applications, according to a study published in ACS Nano (DOI: 10.1021/nn1005232). A handful of transparent and electrically conductive materials, including indium tin oxide (ITO) and aluminum-doped zinc oxide, are commonly used as electrode materials in organic solar cells and light-emitting diodes. For some applications, especially photovoltaic cells and large-area electronic displays, low-cost substitutes are needed to reduce overall device costs. Carbon nanotubes and graphene are being studied as candidate electrode materials, but their electrical resistance may limit their application. Stanford University’s Liangbing Hu, Han Sun Kim, Yi Cui, and coworkers show that silver nanowires may do the job. The team developed a method for synthesizing long­er and thinner nanowires than previously reported versions, along with procedures for depositing the wires on polymer substrates and fashioning electrodes. Electrodes made via the new methods outperformed most plastic-backed ITO and carbon-based electrodes in terms of standard optical transmittance and electrical resistance parameters, the researchers report.

 
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