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Silver Nanowire Percolation Network Soldered with Graphene Oxide at Room Temperature and Its Application for Fully Stretchable Polymer Light-Emitting Diodes

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journal contribution
posted on 25.02.2014 by Jiajie Liang, Lu Li, Kwing Tong, Zhi Ren, Wei Hu, Xiaofan Niu, Yongsheng Chen, Qibing Pei
Transparent conductive electrodes with high surface conductivity, high transmittance in the visible wavelength range, and mechanical compliance are one of the major challenges in the fabrication of stretchable optoelectronic devices. We report the preparation of a transparent conductive electrode (TCE) based on a silver nanowire (AgNW) percolation network modified with graphene oxide (GO). The monatomic thickness, mechanical flexibility, and strong bonding with AgNWs enable the GO sheets to wrap around and solder the AgNW junctions and thus dramatically reduce the inter-nanowire contact resistance without heat treatment or high force pressing. The GO-soldered AgNW network has a figure-of-merit sheet resistance of 14 ohm/sq with 88% transmittance at 550 nm. Its storage stability is improved compared to a conventional high-temperature annealed AgNW network. The GO-soldered AgNW network on polyethylene terephthalate films was processed from solutions using a drawdown machine at room temperature. When bent to 4 mm radius, its sheet resistance was increased by only 2–3% after 12 000 bending cycles. GO solder can also improve the stretchability of the AgNW network. Composite TCE fabricated by inlaying a GO-soldered AgNW network in the surface layer of polyurethane acrylate films is stretchable, by greater than 100% linear strain without losing electrical conductivity. Fully stretchable white polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs) were fabricated for the first time, employing the stretchable TCE as both the anode and cathode. The PLED can survive after 100 stretching cycles between 0 and 40% strain and can be stretched up to 130% linear strain at room temperature.

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