Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Transparent Electrodes For Flexible Electronics

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Researchers have developed a flexible and a biocompatible silver nanowire which can increase stability and practical uses in electronics.

Classic Silver nanowire vs Propolis hybrid silver nanowire.
Image credit: ACS Publications, American Chemical Society

The regular silver nanowires (AgNWs) are used for making flexible electrodes for their photophysical characteristics, durability and environmental adaption. However, the excessive surface roughness reduces the durability of AgNWs flexible electrodes. This can be overcome by employing metal films like gold and platinum to create electrodes by vapor deposition techniques.

The researchers developed a biodegrabale chitosan compound as an alternative for silver nanowire electrodes. These biodegradable chitosan electrodes have remarkably smooth surfaces, however, should be dissolved in acid solution before fabrication. Also the chitosan disintegrates only at higher temperature which changes color. Hence the need for a new alternative for flexible and transparent electrodes increased.

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In the recent studies, the researchers reported an extremely stable hybrid adaptable transparent electrode that contains propolis, a biomaterial. Propolis is a bee-collected biodegrabale compound with cytoprotective and antibacterial characteristics. These compounds can be obtained directly and requires only a little preparation.

The flat surface and increased durability of propolis transparent electrodes exhibit the properties of film-forming and thermal capabilities. These electrodes have better optoelectrical efficiency, good optical clarity, flat texture and minimal sheet resistance.
When tested, these hybrid transparent electrodes demonstrated good environmental adaption testing stability and good physical durability. These transparent electrodes adhered to their sheet resistance and surface shape even after 10,000 bending cycles and exposure to 60 degree Celsius heat and 85% moisture.

The team also created modular white OLEDs and pressure detectors with these transparent electrodes to test their capabilities. The white OLEDs outperformed in terms of current efficiency and mechanical endurance. Similarly, the pressure sensors were also environmentally stable and customizable. These hybrid transparent AgNW electrodes are expected to make a huge difference in the electronics industry with their enhanced durability and flexibility.


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