Synthesis and Device Applications of Silver Nanowires

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Embargoed until 2025-02-21
Copyright: Chen, Junhong
Transparent conductive films (TCFs) and electrodes based on indium tin oxide (ITO) dominate the majority of the world electronics market in the past few decades. Although the manufacture techniques of ITO are mature and relatively low cost when comparing to other TCF materials, the inherent brittleness and the utilization of scarce element (indium) imply that ITO is not suitable for next-generation device applications, which require low cost, mechanical flexibility, reliability and stability. Metal nanowires such as silver nanowires have drawn significant interest among researchers as they could achieve excellent electrical, optical and mechanical properties when coated or printed onto a variety of substrates. Many silver nanowire synthesis methods and related applications have been explored in the recent years, but some parameters and underlying mechanisms are still unclear, which requires further study and improvement. In this thesis, polymer-free synthesis of silver nanowires has been studied and explored. Nanowires with aspect ratio around 900 were synthesized by a polymer-free method. The morphology of nanowires was investigated by tuning the concentration of exotic additives, temperature and reaction time. In addition, silver nanowire-based TCFs with high transparency (84.1%) and good electrical conductivity (44.2 ohms per square) were fabricated in this project. Zinc oxide was also uniformly coated onto the nanowires through a low temperature process (150 °C) to enhance the performance. After introduction of zinc oxide layer, the TCFs could maintain its electrical and optical properties after scratching. Moreover, zinc oxide coating enhanced the thermal stability of the device and no distinct resistance change was observed in 50 °C environment for 40 days.
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Masters Thesis
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