Effects of length dispersity and film fabrication on the sheet resistance of copper nanowire transparent conductors†
Development of thin-film transparent conductors (TC) based on percolating networks of metal nanowires has leaped forward in recent years, owing to the improvement of nanowire synthetic methods and modeling efforts by several research groups. While silver nanowires are the first commercially viable iteration of this technology, systems based on copper nanowires are not far behind. Here we present an analysis of TCs composed of copper nanowire networks on sheets of polyethylene terephthalate that have been treated with various oxide-removing post treatments to improve conductivity. A pseudo-2D rod network modeling approach has been modified to include lognormal distributions in length that more closely reflect experimental data collected from the nanowire TCs. In our analysis, we find that the copper nanowire TCs are capable of achieving comparable electrical performance to silver nanowire TCs with similar dimensions. Lastly, we present a method for more accurately determining the nanowire area coverage in a TC over a large area using Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) to directly measure the metal content in the TCs. These developments will aid research and industry groups alike in the characterization of nanowire based TCs.