Flexible transparent conductive electrodes (TCEs) are widely applied in flexible electronic devices. Among these electrodes, silver (Ag) nanowires (NWs) have gained considerable interests due to their excellent electrical and optical performances. Ag NWs with a one-dimensional nanostructure have unique characteristics from those of bulk Ag. In past 10 years, researchers have proposed various synthesis methods of Ag NWs, such as ultraviolet irradiation, template method, polyol method, etc. These methods are discussed and summarized in this review, and we conclude that the advantages of the polyol method are the most obvious. This review also provides a more comprehensive description of the polyol method for the synthesis of Ag NWs, and the synthetic factors including AgNO3
concentration, addition of other metal salts and polyvinyl pyrrolidone are thoroughly elaborated. Furthermore, several problems in the fabrication of Ag NWs-based TCEs and related devices are reviewed. The prospects for applications of Ag NWs-based TCE in solar cells, electroluminescence, electrochromic devices, flexible energy storage equipment, thin-film heaters and stretchable devices are discussed and summarized in detail.
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