Silver nanowire (AgNW) electrodes are among the most essential flexible transparent electrodes (FTEs) emerging as promising alternatives to brittle indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes. The polymer comprising the plastic substrate to which the AgNWs are applied must also satisfy the mechanical requirements of the final device and withstand the device processing conditions. However, AgNW-based FTEs have some limitations, such as poor adhesion to coated plastic substrates, surface roughness, and difficulty in patterning. This study demonstrates a new strategy for creating AgNW-based patterned flexible poly(ethylene 2,6-naphthalate) (PEN)-based electrodes with appreciable optical and electrical properties. Introducing poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) on the PEN substrate enhanced the adhesion between the substrate and AgNWs and improved the dispersibility of the AgNWs. Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) and a small amount of 2,4-hexadiyne-1,6-diol as a photosensitizer were coated onto the AgNW layer to improve the surface roughness and achieve an effective electrode pattern. By varying the AgNW concentration, we could tune the density and thickness of the AgNWs to optimize the sheet resistance and transmittance. Optimized AgNWs with a sheet resistance of 22.6 ω/□ and transmittance of 92.3% at 550 nm were achieved. A polymer solar cell (PSC) was fabricated to evaluate the characteristics of the device employing the flexible electrodes. This PSC showed not only a high power conversion efficiency of 11.20%, similar to that of ITO-based devices, but also excellent mechanical stability, which is difficult to achieve in ITO-based flexible devices.
- flexible organic photovoltaics
- mechanical stability
- patterned electrode
- silver nanowire
- transparent conductive electrode
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)