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SDSU T-00396: Ozone Treatment of Silver Nanowire Electrodes for Improved Electrode Stability

Background: Silver nanowire electrodes are a necessary component in a good number of devices such as touch screens, cell phones, solar cells, display screens, sensors, organic light-emitting diodes, etc. Recent studies have indicated that, when silver nanowire electrodes conduct current at high levels encountered in organic solar cells, the electrodes fail in as little as 48 hours, as a result of constant electrical stress due to joule heating and sulfur corrosion. Electrode failure is caused by Joule heating, which causes the nanowires to breakup and thus create an electrical discontinuity in the nanowire film. More heat is created, and thus failure occurs sooner, in more resistive electrodes and at higher current. However, UV-treatment (Ultraviolet light therapy) have been improvised, as an elementary way to improve the stability, and longevity of a silver nanowire electrode.

Description: UV-treatment (Ultraviolet light therapy) is primarily a form of treatment for certain skin disorders. This UV-treatment or (Ultraviolet phototherapy) is a noncomplex way to ameliorate the silver nanowire electrode stability, by forming a protective oxide layer directly on the surface of the nanowires, just like tanning beds are used both in dermatology practices for the treatment of cosmetic skin conditions (such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and vitiligo), and also indoor tanning salons for cosmetic tanning. There are no other real, viable alternatives. However, there are other solutions provided, such as imbedding silver nanowires in a metal oxide, graphene oxide, plastics, salts, polymers, PDMS, PET, PVP, PMMA etc. These solutions, have not been practically tested for stability under compounded electrical stress.

Advantages:

  • This UV- treatment method has been proofed to improve silver nanowire electrode longevity under electrical stress for additional 53- 57 hours over non- treated electrodes
  • With improved stability using UV-treatment, silver nanowire electrodes can compete against indium tin oxide (ITO) at the markets. Technological devices may last longer with more stable silver nanowire electrodes.