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Title: A Water-Based Silver-Nanowire Screen-Print Ink for the Fabrication of Stretchable Conductors and Wearable Thin-Film Transistors

Silver nanowire is a very promising material for fabricating compliant conductors which are essential for stretchable/wearable electronic devices. Screen printing is a cost-effective and scalable technology to fabricate large-area thin film coatings with modest pattern resolution. The biggest challenge to prepare a screen printable silver nanowire ink stems from the low viscosity of silver nanowire dispersions and that the addition of a thickening agent could dramatically increase the inter-nanowire contact resistance in the resulting coating. Herein, we report the synthesis of a water-based silver nanowire ink, which was formulated with low solid contents, high viscosity at 0.1 s -1 shear rate, and appropriate rheological behavior suitable for screen printing. Silver nanowire coating patterns were screen printed with uniform sharp edges, ~50 μm resolution, and electrical conductivity as high as 4.67 × 10 4 S cm -1. The screen printed silver nanowires were then used to fabricate a composite conductor that retained a conductivity greater than 10,000 S cm -1 under 70% tensile strain. Fully printed and stretchable/wearable thin-film transistor arrays were also fabricated by employing the screen printed composite conductor as the source, drain, and gate, drop cast semiconducting carbon nanotubes as the channel, and a dielectric elastomer. The 10more » × 6 thin-film transistor arrays had a fabrication yield of 91.7%, average mobility of 33.8 ± 3.7 cm 2V -1s -1, ON/OFF ratio ~1000, and remained stable during 1,000 cycles of wearing on and peeling off a glass tube with 5 mm diameter.« less
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  1. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Henry Samuli School of Engineering and Applied Science and Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
EE0006674; FA9550‐12‐1‐0074
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 28; Journal Issue: 28; Journal ID: ISSN 0935-9648
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; screen printing; conductive; silver nanowire; stretchable conductor; thin-film transistor; wearable electronic
OSTI Identifier: