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Concept: Transparent electrodes


Flexible and transparent electrodes have great potential for photon transmission and charge-carrier collection for next generation electronics compared to rigid electronics with indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated glass substrates. This paper describes a comprehensive study of the electrical, morphology, optical and structural, and mechanical properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) films treated by methanol and methane sulfonic acid (MSA). Such a film coated on hydrophobic plastic substrates exhibits a high conductivity up to 3560 S cm-1 and a good mechanical flexibility and air stability. Moreover, the use of the films to fabricate bendable ITO-free organic solar cells (OSCs) integrated on plastic substrates was presented. The bendable devices based on P3HT:PCBM not only exhibit a high power conversion efficiency (PCE) up to 3.92%, which is comparable to 4.30% of the rigid devices with ITO-coated glass substrates, but also keep about 80% in PCE of the initial value when bent 100 times with a bending radius of 14 mm in the ambient atmosphere. This work provides a novel route to dramatically improve the conductivity of PEDOT:PSS electrodes, as well as the mechanical flexibility of highly efficient organic electronics with the flexible electrodes.

Concepts: Oxygen, Electricity, Solar cell, Organic solar cell, Indium tin oxide, Energy conversion, Sulfonic acid, Transparent electrodes


3D control of the motion of self-powered micromotors is demonstrated using AC electrokinetics by applying an AC electric field on indium tin oxide transparent electrodes.

Concepts: Michael Faraday, Indium tin oxide, Oxides, Indium(III) oxide, Indium, Transparent electrodes, Tin compounds, Indium compounds


We report a comprehensive simulation and experimental study on the optical and electronic properties of uniform and ordered copper nanomeshes (Cu NMs) to determine their performance for transparent conductors. Our study includes simulations to determine the role of propagating modes in transmission and experiments that demonstrate a scalable, facile microsphere-based method to fabricate NMs on rigid quartz and flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates. The fabrication method allows for precise control over NM morphology with near-perfect uniformity and long-range order over large areas on rigid substrates. Our Cu NMs demonstrate 80% diffuse transmission at 17 Ohm/square on quartz, which is comparable to indium tin oxide (ITO). We also performed durability experiments that demonstrate these Cu NMs are robust from bending, heating, and abrasion.

Concepts: Aluminium, Copper, Indium tin oxide, Indium(III) oxide, Indium, Solder, Polyethylene terephthalate, Transparent electrodes


Transparent electrodes in organic electronic devices are strongly needed in order to replace indium tin oxide (ITO). Some of the best candidates are ZnO films, which have shown both good electronic properties and solution processability compatible with roll-to-roll production of the devices. We present the possibility to engineer the work function of ZnO by blending it with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). B-doped (p-type), N-doped (n-type) and undoped CNTs as well as their blends with ZnO have been characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning Kelvin probe microscopy (SKPM) and Raman spectroscopy. The results of Raman spectroscopy demonstrate the substitutional doping of carbon nanotubes, which preserves their covalent structure although increasing the disorder within the nanotubes. The roughness and average shape of grains of ZnO when blended with the doped nanotubes have been measured by AFM. Finally, SKPM shows that the work function of the blends can be engineered from 4.4 ± 0.1 to 4.9 ± 0.1 eV according to the kind of nanotube that is blended even if only a small amount of nanotubes is added to the blend (0.08 wt%).

Concepts: Engineering, Carbon nanotube, Indium tin oxide, Diode, Indium(III) oxide, Scanning probe microscopy, Kelvin probe force microscope, Transparent electrodes


High-efficiency white OLEDs fabricated on silver nanowire-based composite transparent electrodes show almost perfectly Lambertian emission and superior angular color stability, imparted by electrode light scattering. The OLED efficiencies are comparable to those fabricated using indium tin oxide. The transparent electrodes are fully solution-processable, thin-film compatible, and have a figure of merit suitable for large-area devices.

Concepts: Light, Solar cell, Indium tin oxide, Indium(III) oxide, Indium, Solder, Display technology, Transparent electrodes


Thin carbon nanotube films have great potential for transparent electrodes for solar cells and displays. One advantage for using carbon nanotubes is the potential for solution processing. However, research has not been done to connect solution rheological properties with the corresponding film characteristics. Here we study the rheological properties of single-walled carbon nanotube/polythiophene composite dispersions to better understand the alignment that can be achieved during deposition. Several parameters are varied to explore the cause of the alignment and the requirements of achieving a uniform, aligned carbon nanotube/polythiophene film. By understanding the dispersions thoroughly, the film quality can be predicted.

Concepts: Carbon, Carbon nanotube, Allotropes of carbon, Graphite, Materials science, Indium tin oxide, Tensile strength, Transparent electrodes