Benjamin Wiley
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Duke University

Metal Nanowire Networks: The Next Generation of Transparent Conductors

Location: EB1 Room 1011

Friday, August 29th 2014 - 11:00 am

There is an ongoing drive to replace the most common transparent conductor, indium tin oxide (ITO), with a material that gives comparable performance, but can be coated from solution at speeds orders of magnitude faster than the sputtering processes used to deposit ITO. Metals nanowires are currently the only alternative to ITO that meets these requirements. This presentation will summarize recent advances towards understand the relationship between the structure of metal nanowires, and the properties of a metal nanowire network. Results from structure-property studies have motivated the development of a water-based synthesis that produces copper nanowires with aspect ratios as high as 5700 in 30 min. Real-time visualization of nanowire growth was used to shed light on the mechanistic processes by which atoms assemble to form nanowires. These high aspect ratio copper nanowires can be processed from solution to create films with a specular transmittance >95%T at a sheet resistance of <100 Ω sq-1, performance that is comparable to that of ITO. Copper nanowire networks can be protected against oxidation with shells of Ni, and subsequently serve as the transparent anode in organic solar cells that exhibit device efficiencies of 5%, comparable to values obtained for devices made with Ag nanowires. The low-cost of metal nanowire-based transparent conductors is expected to lower the production costs of touch screens, organic light emitting diodes, and organic photovoltaics.

Benjamin J. Wiley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Duke University. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2007, working on the synthesis of silver nanostructures under the guidance of Prof. Younan Xia. Prior to joining Duke in 2009, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of George Whitesides at Harvard University. His lab focuses on the processes by which atoms assemble to form nanostructures in solution, and the relationship between the structure and properties of these nanostructures in the context of practical applications. He founded NanoForge Corp. in 2010 to commercialize the production of copper nanowires.

North Carolina State University