Transparent Fused Nanowire Electrodes by Condensation Coefficient Modulation

Lee, Jaemin; Varagnolo, Silvia; Walker, Marc and Hatton, Ross A. (2020). Transparent Fused Nanowire Electrodes by Condensation Coefficient Modulation. Advanced Functional Materials (Early Access).



Silver nanowire networks can offer exceptionally high performance as transparent electrodes for stretchable sensors, flexible optoelectronics, and energy harvesting devices. However, this type of electrode suffers from the triple drawbacks of complexity of fabrication, instability of the nanowire junctions, and high surface roughness, which limit electrode performance and utility. Here, a new concept in the fabrication of silver nanowire electrodes is reported that simultaneously addresses all three of these drawbacks, based on an electrospun nanofiber network and supporting substrate having silver vapor condensation coefficients of one and near‐zero, respectively. Consequently, when the whole substrate is exposed to silver vapor by simple thermal evaporation, metal selectively deposits onto the nanofiber network. The advantage of this approach is the simplicity, since there is no mask, chemical or dry metal etching step, or mesh transfer step. Additionally, the contact resistance between nanowires is zero and the surface roughness is sufficiently low for integration into organic photovoltaic devices. This new concept opens the door to continuous roll‐to‐roll fabrication of high‐performance fused silver nanowire electrodes for myriad potential applications.

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