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Microchannel Wetting for Controllable Patterning and Alignment of Silver Nanowire with High Resolution

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journal contribution
posted on 30.09.2015, 00:00 by Bo-Ru Yang, Wu Cao, Gui-Shi Liu, Hui-Jiuan Chen, Yong-Young Noh, Takeo Minari, Hsiang-Chih Hsiao, Chia-Yu Lee, Han-Ping D. Shieh, Chuan Liu
Patterning and alignment of conductive nanowires are essential for good electrical isolation and high conductivity in various applications. Herein a facile bottom-up, additive technique is developed to pattern and align silver nanowires (AgNWs) by manipulating wetting of dispersions in microchannels. By forming hydrophobic/hydrophilic micropatterns down to 8 μm with fluoropolymer (Cytop) and SiO2, the aqueous AgNW dispersions with the optimized surface tension and viscosity self-assemble into microdroplets and then dry to form anisotropic AgNW networks. The alignment degree characterized by the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) can be well-controlled from 39.8° to 84.1° by changing the width of microchannels. A mechanism is proposed and validated by statistical analysis on AgNW alignment, and a static model is proposed to guide the patterning of general NWs. The alignment reduced well the electrical resistivity of AgNW networks by a factor of 5 because of the formation of efficient percolation path for carrier conduction.

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