Title: Thermal annealing effects on silver nanowire networks

Authors: G. Giusti; D.P. Langley; M. Lagrange; R. Collins; C. Jimenez; Y. Bréchet; D. Bellet

Addresses: Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 3 parvis Louis Néel, 38016 Grenoble, France ' Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 3 parvis Louis Néel, 38016 Grenoble, France; Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Interfaces et Nanostructures, Département de Physique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août, 17, B-4000 Liège, Belgium ' Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 3 parvis Louis Néel, 38016 Grenoble, France ' Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 3 parvis Louis Néel, 38016 Grenoble, France ' Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 3 parvis Louis Néel, 38016 Grenoble, France ' Laboratoire de Science et Ingénierie des Matériaux et des Procédés, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 1130 rue de la Piscine, 38042 Saint-Martin d’Hères, France ' Laboratoire des Matériaux et du Génie Physique, CNRS-Grenoble INP, 3 parvis Louis Néel, 38016 Grenoble, France

Abstract: Thermal annealing is shown to be a successful approach to reduce the electrical resistance of transparent electrodes made of randomly oriented silver nanowires (AgNWs). A decrease in the electrical resistance by several orders of magnitude, whilst maintaining optical transmission (above 85%), is demonstrated. Several mechanisms involved in the electrical behaviour induced by thermal treatment both in air and under vacuum are identified using a combination of ramped, stepped and isothermal annealing. Some mechanisms lead to the reduction of the electrical resistance such as local sintering, while others, such as spheroidisation, induce irreversible damage to the network. It is also shown that the polymer used in the synthesis of Ag nanowires plays a crucial role as a thermal stabiliser under vacuum conditions. Finally, optimised samples exhibit an optical transmittance of 83% (without substrate contribution removal) and a sheet resistance of 9.5 Ω/sq.

Keywords: transparent electrodes; silver nanowires; thermal annealing; sintering; transparent conductive materials; TCM; Ag networks; nanowire networks; nanotechnology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNT.2014.063788

International Journal of Nanotechnology, 2014 Vol.11 No.9/10/11, pp.785 - 795

Published online: 21 Jul 2014 *

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