Features of Random Metal Nanowire Networks with Application in Transparent Conducting Electrodes
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
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AbstractAmong the alternatives to conventional Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) used in making transparent conducting electrodes, the random metal nanowire (NW) networks are considered to be superior offering performance at par with ITO. The performance is measured in terms of sheet resistance and optical transmittance. However, as the electrical properties of such random networks are achieved thanks to a percolation network, a minimum size of the electrodes is needed so it actually exceeds the representative volume element (RVE) of the material and the macroscopic electrical properties are achieved. There is not much information about the compatibility of this minimum RVE size with the resolution actually needed in electronic devices. Furthermore, the efficiency of NWs in terms of electrical conduction is overlooked. In this work, we address the above industrially relevant questions - 1) The minimum size of electrodes that can be made based on the dimensions of NWs and the material coverage. For this, we propose a morphology based classification in defining the RVE size and we also compare the same with that is based on macroscopic electrical properties stabilization. 2) The amount of NWs that do not participate in electrical conduction, hence of no practical use. The results presented in this thesis are a design guide to experimentalists to design transparent electrodes with more optimal usage of the material.