Highly transparent AgNW/PDMS stretchable electrodes for elastomeric electrochromic devices†
Stretchable conductors based on silver nanowires (AgNWs) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) have been studied extensively for many years. However, it is still difficult to achieve high transparency with low resistance due to the low attractive force between AgNWs and PDMS. In this paper, we report an effective method to transfer AgNWs into PDMS by using substrates which have a hydrophobic surface, and successfully prepared stretchable AgNW/PDMS electrodes having high transparency and low sheet resistance at the same time. The obtained electrodes can be stretched, twisted, and folded without significant loss of conductivity. Furthermore, a novel elastomeric HV electrochromic device (ECD) fabricated based on these stretchable AgNW/PDMS hybrid electrodes exhibited excellent electrochromic behavior in the full AgNW electrode system and could change color between colorless and blue even after 100 switching cycles. As most existing electrochromic devices are based on ITO and other rigid conductors, elastomeric conductors demonstrate advantages for next-generation electronics such as stretchable, wearable, and flexible optoelectronic applications.