One-pot stirring-free synthesis of silver nanowires with tunable lengths and diameters via a Fe3+ & Cl− co-mediated polyol method and their application as transparent conductive films
The properties of nanomaterials are highly dependent on their size, shape and composition. Compared with zero-dimensional nanoparticles, the increased dimension of a one-dimensional silver nanowire (AgNW/Ag NW) leads to extra challenges on synthesizing it with controllable sizes. Here, a convenient way for the synthesis of AgNWs with tunable sizes has been developed simply by adjusting the amount of salt additives, i.e., ferric chloride (FeCl3), or Fe(NO3)3 & KCl. The average diameter and length of nanowires are readily tailored within 45–220 nm and 10–230 μm, respectively. The distinctive roles of Fe3+ and Cl− played during the growth stages of Ag NWs were revealed by comparative experiments and a heterogeneous nucleation model with the assistance of oxidative etching was proposed to elucidate the growth mechanism. Afterwards, transformations in XRD patterns from nanometer-size effects and quantitative relation for size-dependent peak wavelength of surface plasmon resonances (SPRs) in UV-vis spectroscopy of these nanowires were studied. In addition, as transparent conductive materials (TCMs), these metal nanowires were utilized to fabricate transparent conductive films (TCFs), and the effects of their diameters and lengths were elucidated. Very/ultra-long nanowires with a high aspect ratio up to 1600 achieved impressive properties of R = 12.4 ohm sq−1 at T% = 90.1% without any post treatment. This facile method for the size-tunable growth of uniform AgNWs with high yield is attractive and ready to be home-made, which is believed to promote research in their potential applications, especially in optoelectronic devices and flexible electronics.