Transfer of Nanowires onto Flexible Substrates

Technology #15608

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Researchers
Kirk Jeremy Ziegler
Cheng Xu
Jie Liu
Managed By
Richard Croley
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
PCT Patent Application WO2017/074867

Effectively Fabricates Vertically Aligned, Ultra-High Density, Flexible Nanowires

These anodized alumina nanowires are vertically aligned, feature ultra-high density and are easily deposited into templates through a variety of existing methods. They are transferable onto flexible substrates, offering an inexpensive way of manufacturing flexible nanowires. Integrating nanowires onto flexible devices to enhance efficiency has gained considerable research interest in recent years. The wearable device and flexible electronics market is worth over $8 billion. Current technologies are limited by the inability to manufacture efficient, cost-effective flexible devices. University of Florida researchers are able to produce flexible nanowires by using anodized alumina, resulting in nanowires with high density and vertically aligned morphology with perfect ordering. These nanowires can also be used in electronics, such as photovoltaics and sensors.

Application

Production of flexible nanowires for wearable electronics, flexible displays, and energy conversion devices.

Advantages

  • Provides ultra-high surface area to maximize efficiency of energy conversion in devices
  • Maintains shape and conductivity while bending or stretching the device
  • Provides direct path for electron transport and shorter diffusion length, increasing efficiency

Technology

The anodized alumina acts as an ultra-high density, nanoporous template to produce flexible, inexpensive nanowires. The pore size, density, pore ordering, and inter-pore distance can be changed by altering the types and concentration of electrolytes, temperature, or anodization voltage in the template. The nanowires are synthesized by depositing material into the vertical pores of the template. The diameter of the nanowires is tunable on the nanometer scale while the length of the nanowires is dependent upon the template thickness, deposition conditions and deposition time. The template is then removed using a solvent. A thin film of conductive interlayer material may be deposited onto the nanowires to reduce contact resistance between the nanowire and electrode interface. The technology is extremely versatile; the deposition method, metals, semiconductors, and polymers used in processing these nanowires can be altered to achieve the desired results.