Transparent electrodes simultaneously require high electrical conductivity and high optical transparency, which have been achieved with mesh metal structures. However, most currently fabricated micro- and nanoelectronic devices are produced via top-down lithography methods. Here, a bottom-up self-assembly approach to fabricate mesh electrode using ultrathin gold nanowires (AuNWs) at the air/water interface is reported. Slow partial ligand removal during the aging process is the key for the formation of such self-assembled mesh structures. The resulting mesh film has a typical mesh pore size of 8-52 μm, with a sheet resistance of ~40 times smaller than our previously reported nonmeshed AuNWs electrodes under similar optical transmittance. Our self-assembled mesh electrodes are mechanically flexible, easily transferrable to a variety of substrates, and also patternable by marker pen lithography or cutting machine lithography, and washable, and can be directly used for touch screen and flexible interconnects for light-emitting devices. The entire fabrication process is under ambient conditions without the need for any special equipment. These attributes indicate the potential applications of self-assembled gold mesh electrodes in flexible solar cells, touch screen displays, and wearable electronics.
Gong, Shu, Yunmeng Zhao, Lim Wei Yap, Qianqian Shi, Yan Wang, Johanis Aryo P. B. Bay, Daniel T. H. Lai, Hemayet Uddin, Wenlong Cheng
Adv. Electron. Mater.