Electrically robust silver nanowire patterns transferrable onto various substrates†
We report a facile technique for patterning and transferring silver nanowires (AgNWs) onto various substrates. By employing only UV/O3 and vapor treatment of hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS), we are able to accurately manipulate the surface energy via alternating the terminal groups of a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate, so as to assist selective formation and exfoliation of AgNW films. A simple UV/O3 treatment on PDMS enables uniform, well-defined, and highly conductive patterns of AgNWs after spin-coating. A vapor treatment of HMDS lowers the surface energy of the oxidized PDMS so that the patterned AgNWs embedded in an epoxy resin (EPR) are cleanly transferred from the PDMS to the target substrate. It is found that the AgNW-EPR composite on polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET) exhibits remarkable durability under the bending test, tape test, ultrasonic treatment in water, and immersion of chemical solvents. In addition, we demonstrate that the AgNW-EPR composite work well as conductive patterns on the oxidized PDMS, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), paper, and curved glass. The facile technique extends the applicability of AgNWs in the field of electronics, and it is potentially applicable to other nanomaterials.