Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors, displays

Date:
May 22, 2013
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Researchers have created a new type of transparent electrode that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics and future "optoelectronic" circuits for sensors and information processing.

Electron microscope images show a new material for transparent electrodes that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics, and future "optoelectronic" circuits for sensors and information processing. The electrodes are made of silver nanowires covered with a material called graphene. At bottom is a model depicting the "co-percolating" network of graphene and silver nanowires.
Credit: Purdue University image/Birck Nanotechnology Center

Researchers have created a new type of transparent electrode that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics and future "optoelectronic" circuits for sensors and information processing.

The electrode is made of silver nanowires covered with a material called graphene, an extremely thin layer of carbon. The hybrid material shows promise as a possible replacement for indium tin oxide, or ITO, used in transparent electrodes for touch-screen monitors, cell-phone displays and flat-screen televisions. Industry is seeking alternatives to ITO because of drawbacks: It is relatively expensive due to limited abundance of indium, and it is inflexible and degrades over time, becoming brittle and hindering performance.

"If you try to bend ITO it cracks and then stops functioning properly," said Purdue University doctoral student Suprem Das.

The hybrid material could represent a step toward innovations, including flexible solar cells and color monitors, flexible "heads-up" displays in car windshields and information displays on eyeglasses and visors.

"The key innovation is a material that is transparent, yet electrically conductive and flexible," said David Janes, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Research findings were detailed in a paper appearing online in April in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. It was authored by Das; visiting student Ruiyi Chen; graduate students Changwook Jeong and Mohammad Ryyan Khan; Janes and Muhammad A. Alam, a Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The hybrid concept was proposed in earlier publications by Purdue researchers, including a 2011 paper in the journal Nano Letters. The concept represents a general approach that could apply to many other materials, said Alam, who co-authored the Nano Letters paper.

"This is a beautiful illustration of how theory enables a fundamental new way to engineer material at the nanoscale and tailor its properties," he said.

Such hybrid structures could enable researchers to overcome the "electron-transport bottleneck" of extremely thin films, referred to as two-dimensional materials.

Combining graphene and silver nanowires in a hybrid material overcomes drawbacks of each material individually: the graphene and nanowires conduct electricity with too much resistance to be practical for transparent electrodes. Sheets of graphene are made of individual segments called grains, and resistance increases at the boundaries between these grains. Silver nanowires, on the other hand, have high resistance because they are randomly oriented like a jumble of toothpicks facing in different directions. This random orientation makes for poor contact between nanowires, resulting in high resistance.

"So neither is good for conducting electricity, but when you combine them in a hybrid structure, they are," Janes said.

The graphene is draped over the silver nanowires.

"It's like putting a sheet of cellophane over a bowl of noodles," Janes said. "The graphene wraps around the silver nanowires and stretches around them."

Findings show the material has a low "sheet resistance," or the electrical resistance in very thin layers of material, which is measured in units called "squares." At 22 ohms per square, it is five times better than ITO, which has a sheet resistance of 100 ohms per square.

Moreover, the hybrid structure was found to have little resistance change when bent, whereas ITO shows dramatic increases in resistance when bent.

"The generality of the theoretical concept underlying this experimental demonstration -- namely 'percolation-doping' -- suggests that it is likely to apply to a broad range of other 2-D nanocrystaline material, including graphene," Alam said.

A patent application has been filed by Purdue's Office of Technology Commercialization.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. The original article was written by Emil Venere. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ruiyi Chen, Suprem R. Das, Changwook Jeong, Mohammad Ryyan Khan, David B. Janes, Muhammad A. Alam. Co-Percolating Graphene-Wrapped Silver Nanowire Network for High Performance, Highly Stable, Transparent Conducting Electrodes. Advanced Functional Materials, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201300124

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors, displays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522142032.htm>.
Purdue University. (2013, May 22). Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors, displays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522142032.htm
Purdue University. "Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors, displays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522142032.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 23, 2014) A sharp rise in revenue for commercial jets offset a decline in Boeing's defense business. And a big increase in deliveries lifted profitability. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins