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Highly conductive and transparent copper nanowire electrodes on surface coated flexible and heat-sensitive substrates

Ding, Su, Tian, Yanhong, Jiu, Jinting, Suganuma, Katsuaki
RSC advances 2018 v.8 no.4 pp. 2109-2115
annealing, ceramics, coatings, copper, copper nanoparticles, direct contact, electrodes, heat, light intensity, nanowires, photons, polyethylene terephthalates, prices, temperature, thermosensitivity, transmittance
Copper nanowire (CuNW) based flexible transparent electrodes have been extensively investigated due to their outstanding performances and low price. However, commonly used methods for processing CuNW transparent electrodes such as thermal annealing and photonic sintering inevitably damage the flexible substrates leading to low transmittance. Herein, a surface coating layer was demonstrated to protect the heat-sensitive polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer from being destroyed by the instantaneous high temperature during the photonic sintering process. The stable ceramic surface coating layer avoided the direct exposure of PET to intense light, further reduced the heat releasing to the bottom part of the PET, protecting the flexible PET base from destruction and ensuring high transparency for the CuNW transparent electrodes. A CuNW transparent electrode on surface coated PET (C-PET) substrates with a sheet resistance of 33 Ohm sq⁻¹ and high transmittance of 82% has been successfully fabricated by the photonic sintering method using light intensity of 557 mJ cm⁻² within several seconds in ambient conditions. The surface coating layers open a novel method to optimize the rapid photonic sintering technique for processing metal nanomaterials on heat-sensitive substrates.