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Nanofibre networks aimed at flexible, transparent electrodes

Posted: 15 Jul 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Tokyo Institute of Technology  electrode  nanofibre network  optoelectronic device 

Transparent conductors are primarily used as electrodes in optoelectronic devices including touch panel screens, LCDs and solar cells. As of the present, the transparent conductors used for such applications are made of indium tin oxide (ITO).

However, ITO-based transparent electrodes are brittle, prone to breakage and expensive. Therefore, there is strong demand for alternatives to ITO transparent electrodes.

Hidetoshi Matsumoto, Masatoshi Tokita, Koichi Sakajiri and graduate student Keisuke Azuma at Tokyo Institute of Technology reported the first development of a facile method for the fabrication of flexible and unbreakable transparent electrodes using nanofibres.

2D aluminum (Al) nanofibre networks offering transparent conductors were fabricated by simple wet chemical etching of Al metalised polymer films using an electrospun polystyrene nanofibre mask template.

The resulting Al nanowire networks, with a width of 500nm and an area fraction of 22 per cent, exhibited 80 per cent optical transmittance and sheet resistance of 45Ω sq-1, figures of merit that are comparable to conventional transparent conductors. Notably, the fabrication method developed by the Tokyo Tech group is scalable for mass production and cost effective.

The resulting flexible, unbreakable and transparent electrodes are promising for applications in both large-scale and mobile optoelectronic devices including ones that are flexible. Examples of applications are large displays, large interactive touch screens, PV solar panels, LED panels, smartphones and tablets.

Flexible and transparent electrodes

Flexible, unbreakable and transparent electrodes with conductive nanofibre networks.

Aluminum nanofibre networks

Micrograph of aluminum nanofibre networks fabricated on a poly(ethyleneterephthalate) film by wet chemical etching with an electrospun polymer nanofibre mask.

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