High-performance stretchable transparent electrodes based on silver nanowires synthesized via an eco-friendly halogen-free method†
Silver nanowires (AgNWs) with high aspect ratio are usually prepared via complicated multi-step procedures or by a relatively tedious polyol method with the assistance of Xa−/O2 (Xa− represents the halide ion or sulfion) etching. In this paper, silver nanowires with both a high aspect ratio of 800–1600 and high purity were prepared via a simple, cost-effective, high-yield and eco-friendly method without the introduction of external halides or sulfides. Embedding the as-prepared silver nanowires beneath the surface of the poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) substrate, novel stretchable AgNW/PDMS electrodes with superior comprehensive performances were fabricated. The resulting AgNW/PDMS electrodes show high optoelectronic performance. Without annealing, transparent conductive films with both high conductivity and transmittance, Rs = 14 Ω □−1, T = 90% and Rs = 9 Ω □−1, T = 81% were fabricated, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, they are among the best AgNW/PDMS electrodes in terms of transparency and electrical conductivity. The transparent electrodes also possess excellent electromechanical performance and stretchability (no obvious changes in sheet resistance with strain up to 20%). What is more, the conductive layer of the as-prepared electrodes shows strong adhesion to the substrates, demonstrating their superior durability. They also show high flexibility, good chemical stability and high uniformity.