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Flexible, Highly Durable, and Thermally Stable SWCNT/Polyimide Transparent Electrodes

Kim, Seong-Ku, Liu, Tao, Wang, Xiaogong
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 v.7 no.37 pp. 20865-20874
electrodes, glass transition temperature, methodology, nitric acid, thermal expansion, thermal stability
Flexible, transparent, and electrically conducting electrode materials are highly desired for flexible electronic applications. With a highly transparent polyimide (PI) as a substrate, a comprehensive and comparative study was performed to investigate four different fabrication schemes in producing transparent and electrically conducting SWCNT/PI electrodes. A very promising method that involves an in situ imidization process and nitric acid doping treatment was identified, which led to the fabrication of highly durable and thermally stable SWCNT/PI electrodes. The best performed electrode has a transmission of 77.6% at 550 nm and a sheet resistance (Rₛ) of 1169 ± 172 Ω/□, which appeared no changes after repeating tests of bending, folding-unfolding, adhesive-tape-peeling-off, and wet tissue-paper scratching/wiping. The excellent thermal stability of such fabricated SWCNT/PI electrode is manifested by the very high glass transition temperature of 290.1 °C and low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of 28.5 ppm °C–¹ in the temperature range from 75 to 200 °C. The new method expects to be able to pave the way in facile production of high-performance flexible, transparent, and conducting electrodes.