Promising wet chemical strategies to synthesize Cu nanowires for emerging electronic applications
Copper nanowires (Cu NWs) are of particular interest for application as transparent and flexible conducting electrodes in ‘see-through’ and/or ‘deformable’ future electronics due to their excellent electrical, optical, and mechanical properties. It is necessary to develop reliable and facile methods to produce well-defined Cu NWs prior to their full exploitation. Among the wide variety of methods available to generate Cu NWs, solution-based synthesis routes are considered to be a promising strategy because of several advantages including fewer constraints on the selection of precursors, the solvent and reaction conditions, and the feasibility of large-scale low-cost production. Here, we provide a thorough review of various recently developed synthetic methodologies to obtain Cu NWs, with particular emphasis on wet chemical synthesis approaches including a hydrothermal route, reduction of metal precursors, and catalytic synthesis. The emerging applications of Cu NWs including transparent electrodes and flexible/stretchable electronics are also discussed, followed by brief comments on the remaining challenges and future research perspectives.