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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040533

Tackling the Stability Issues of Silver Nanowire Transparent Conductive Films through FeCl3 Dilute Solution Treatment

1,2,†, 3,†, 1,2, 1, 1,* and 1,4,*
1
Key Laboratory of Materials Physics, Anhui Key Laboratory of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, Institute of Solid State Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
2
Science Island Branch of Graduate School, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
3
Key Laboratory of Silicon Device Technology, Institute of Microelectronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
4
College of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract

Silver nanowires (AgNWs) have been investigated as alternatives to indium tin oxide in transparent conductive films (TCFs) for electronics. However, AgNW TCFs still pose stability issues when exposed to thermal, chemical, and mechanical stimuli. Herein, we demonstrate a facile and effective route to improve stability by treating the films with dilute ferric chloride solution. Our results indicate that after treatment the films exhibit a dramatically enhanced stability against aging, high temperature oxidation, chemical etching, sulfurization, and mechanical straining. Size-dependent instability is fully explored and explained regarding surface atomic diffusion, which could be blocked by enhancing the activation energy of surface diffusion through forming a AgCl cap under ferric chloride solution treatment. Chemisorption-related Fermi level shift of silver nanowires is applied to tune their chemical reactivity to ferric chloride solution for balancing between size-dependent stability improvement and maintaining optoelectrical properties. Owing to the dilute treatment solution, the treated films exhibit a negligible change in light transmittance, whereas sheet resistance decreases by 30% and flexibility increases because of capillary-force-induced welding of contacting AgNWs and AgCl layer mediated tightening. These findings are significant for real-world applications of AgNW TCFs. View Full-Text
Keywords: silver nanowires; chemisorption-related Fermi level shift; transparent conductive films; size-dependent instability; surface atomic diffusion blocking silver nanowires; chemisorption-related Fermi level shift; transparent conductive films; size-dependent instability; surface atomic diffusion blocking
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Chu, X.; Wang, K.; Tao, J.; Li, S.; Ji, S.; Ye, C. Tackling the Stability Issues of Silver Nanowire Transparent Conductive Films through FeCl3 Dilute Solution Treatment. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 533.

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