UCLA engineers create new transparent electrodes for highly flexible electronics

Dec 20, 2010 By Wileen Wong Kromhout

The development of new electronic applications like thin-film solar panels, wearable displays and non-invasive biomedical devices, which require significant deformation to copy body movements, has heightened the need for transparent, highly flexible electrodes.

Currently, indium-doped (ITO) technology is used for electrodes in LCD displays, solar cells, iPad and smart-phone touch screens, and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for televisions and computer monitors. But ITO can be fragile and toxic, and it is becoming increasingly more expensive to produce.

Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have now developed a new transparent electrode based on silver nanowires (AgNW) that could replace ITO. The new electrode uses low-cost, non-toxic and stable materials and is easy to fabricate. It is produced on a cross-linked, transparent polyacylate substrate, which is cheaper than glass and can be stiff and rigid or flexible and stretchable.

The resulting AgNW/polymer have high transparency, low sheet resistance comparable to ITO, and low surface roughness. They are substantially more compliant than ITO and would be suitable for the fabrication of high-performance and stretchable OLEDs and .

The shape-memory property of the polymer substrate could lead to electronic devices that can be deformed to various stable shapes. The deformation is reversible, causes minimal damage to the devices and can be repeated for many cycles.

Authors of the research are Zhibin Yu, Qingwu Zhang, Lu Li, Qi Chen, Xiaofan Niu, Jun Liu and Qibing Pei. The invention of the new was led by Qibing Pei, who is a professor of materials science and engineering at UCLA Engineering.

Explore further: Mirror-image forms of corannulene molecules could lead to exciting new possibilities in nanotechnology

More information: This research was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Materials and is available online at: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… a.201003398/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Copper Nanowires Enable Bendable Displays, Solar Cells

Jun 01, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A team of Duke University chemists has perfected a simple way to make tiny copper nanowires in quantity. The cheap conductors are small enough to be transparent, making them ideal for thin-film ...

Nanometer Graphene Makes Novel OLEDs Display

Mar 10, 2010

Researchers at Stanford University have successfully developed brand new concept of organic lighting-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with a few nanometer of graphene as transparent conductor. This paved the way for ...

Recommended for you

Tiny graphene drum could form future quantum memory

Aug 28, 2014

Scientists from TU Delft's Kavli Institute of Nanoscience have demonstrated that they can detect extremely small changes in position and forces on very small drums of graphene. Graphene drums have great potential ...

Graphene reinvents the future

Aug 27, 2014

For many scientists, the discovery of one-atom-thick sheets of graphene is hugely significant, something with the potential to affect just about every aspect of human activity and endeavour.

User comments : 0