Transparent Electrode

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Transparent conducting electrode (TCE) is an essential component for a variety of optoelectronic devices. Although ITO is the most widely used TCE material to date, it is not suitable for future flexible devices due to its inherent brittleness. Among alternatives to ITO, silver nanowires (AgNWs) are particularly promising because a random network of AgNWs possesses excellent conductivity, good flexibility, and compatibility with low-temperature solution process. Due to the substantial progress made over recent years, the original limitations associated with AgNWs, such as high surface roughness, low long-term stability, and poor adhesion to the substrate, have been considerably overcome. However, it still remains a challenge to solve the visibility issue, which restricts their widespread use in actual devices. AgNW electrodes can be patterned by a number of different methods, including etching, lift-off, dry transfer, and ablation. In these conventional methods, the patterned structure is formed either by selective etching or deposition. Therefore, no matter what method is utilized, the fabricated pattern can be visible due to the difference in transmittance/reflectance between the regions with and without AgNWs. Our approach is to disconnect the AgNW network in selective areas by a laser and thus make the irradiated areas electrically insulating. Since the laser-cut nanowires remain on the substrate, the electrode pattern fabricated by this method can be invisible. A major difference from the conventional patterning schemes is that not the material but its conductivity is patterned. The feasibility of the presented approach is demonstrated by fabricating organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) using patterned AgNW electrodes and characterizing their performance.

           Fig. 1 (AgNWs).jpg          
                Fig. 2 (AgNWs).jpg                                                                                                               (J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 120, 20471)