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Issue 2, 2019
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A toxicology-informed, safer by design approach for the fabrication of transparent electrodes based on silver nanowires

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Abstract

Fabrication of silver nanowires (AgNWs) with fine and independent control of both the diameter (from 30 to 120 nm) and length (from 5 to 120 μm) by concomitant addition of co-nucleants and temperature control is demonstrated, and used for the preparation of size standards. Percolating random networks were fabricated using these standards and their optoelectronic properties were measured and compared with regard to the nanowire dimensions. The transparent electrodes appear suitable for various applications and exhibit excellent performances (e.g. 16 ohm sq−1 at 93% transparency), with haze values varying from 1.6 to 26.2%. Besides, in vitro toxicological studies carried out on murine macrophages with the same size standards revealed that AgNWs are weakly toxic (no toxicity observed below 50 μg mL−1 Ag), in particular compared to other silver nanoparticles. Short AgNWs (4 μm) appeared to be slightly more toxic than longer AgNWs (10 and 20 μm). Conversely, long AgNWs (20 μm) induced a more prolonged pro-inflammatory response in murine macrophages. These results contribute, in a safer by design approach, to promoting the use of short AgNWs. The global knowledge dealing with the combination of nanowire dimensions associated with optoelectronic performances and related toxicity should encourage the rational use of AgNWs, and guide the choice of the most adequate AgNW dimensions in an integrated approach.

Graphical abstract: A toxicology-informed, safer by design approach for the fabrication of transparent electrodes based on silver nanowires

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Aug 2018, accepted on 10 Oct 2018 and first published on 20 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00890F
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019,6, 684-694
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    A toxicology-informed, safer by design approach for the fabrication of transparent electrodes based on silver nanowires

    D. Toybou, C. Celle, C. Aude-Garcia, T. Rabilloud and J. Simonato, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2019, 6, 684
    DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00890F

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