Highly reliable AgNW/PEDOT:PSS hybrid films: efficient methods for enhancing transparency and lowering resistance and haziness
Silver nanowires (AgNWs) are remarkable components that may be able to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) as transparent electrodes due to their high DC conductivity and excellent optical transmittance. However, a common coating method can cause detrimental electrical deviation and poor optical properties due to the creation of randomly organized connections of AgNWs. These problems should be overcome in AgNW-based films for transparent and reliable conductive electrodes through material and engineering approaches. In this work, we have demonstrated highly conductive films of an AgNW/PEDOT:PSS composite with excellent optical transparency and good electrical deviation through a multi-layer coating process with a controlled AgNW solution. We studied the effect of the number of coatings and optimized the process for high-performance AgNW/PEDOT:PSS composite films. The resulting film showed 2.3% enhancement at 550 nm in terms of the transmittance and reduction of haziness by approximately two to four percent according to the number of coatings. In addition, the film exhibited an excellent electrical standard deviation of 1.7 Ω sq−1 in all areas of the substrate in a reliability test. The optimized AgNW/PEDOT:PSS film was patterned by photolithography and etching processes to confirm the possibility for electrode applications and the patterned film showed clear 30 μm width line patterns maintaining resistance. These improvements by our method can support a new approach for transparent electrodes with excellent optical and electrical properties using metal-based nanomaterials.