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LL7.05 - Transparent Plastic Electrodes Using Self Assembly of Metal Nanoparticles 
April 23, 2014   11:15am - 11:30am

Nowadays there is a growing demand for developing low-cost and industrially feasible materials and processes, which would enable the fabrication of transparent conductive electrode (TCC) at low temperatures. We report on a simple process for creating transparent and conductive patterns at room temperature. The process is based on self assembly of metal nanoparticles to form a transparent grid with a line width of less than 5 micrometer. The grid is formed by placing a micro litter droplet of metal nanoparticles dispersion onto a mesh which is placed on a plastic foil, enabling movement of the nanoparticles before drying. During the evaporation, the particles move towards the periphery of the mesh walls due to wetting and capillary forces, and arrange along the wires of the mesh. After removal of the mesh, micron size lines having a high aspect ratio are formed. Such lines cannot be obtained by a simple printing process. While using silver nanoparticles stabilized by polyacrylic acid, sintering at room temperature is enabled by simple exposure to various electrolytes. For example, after the grid is formed, it is exposed to HCl vapors, resulting in a transparent conducting grid with a sheet resistance of less than 5Ω per square and transparency above 85%. By adjusting parameters such as metal loading, contact angle, surface tension and environment humidity, the height and width of the lines can be controlled. It was found that this method is suitable for a variety of conductive materials. We will demonstrate how these TCC were incorporated in electroluminescent and electrochromic devices with high stability for bending. Notably, the many steps that are required for the fabrication of the devices, do not damage the conductive transparent grid. The whole process takes a few minutes, and does not require any special equipment for obtaining large area (>10x10cm) flexible TCC, and is performed directly on plastic substrate at low-temperature. It is therefore expected that this method can provide a good alternative for plastic ITO based TCC.

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Keynote Address
Panel Discussion - Different Approaches to Commercializing Materials Research
Business Challenges to Starting a Materials-Based Company
Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience
Application of In-situ X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research - From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis