Patterning and alignment of conductive nanowires are essential for good electrical isolation and high conductivity in various applications. Herein a facile bottom-up, additive technique is developed to pattern and align silver nanowires (AgNWs) by manipulating wetting of dispersions in microchannels. By forming hydrophobic/hydrophilic micropatterns down to 8 mu m with fiuoropolymer (Cytop) and SiO2, the aqueous AgNW dispersions with the optimized surface tension and viscosity self-assemble into microdroplets and then dry to form anisotropic AgNW networks. The alignment degree characterized by the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) can be well-controlled from 39.8 degrees to 84.1 degrees by changing the width of microchannels. A mechanism is proposed and validated by statistical analysis on AgNW alignment, and a static model is proposed to guide the patterning of general NWs. The alignment reduced well the electrical resistivity of AgNW networks by a factor of 5 because of the formation of efficient percolation path for carrier conduction.
- fluoropolymer; microchannel; self-assembly patterning; alignment; silver nanowires
- CARBON NANOTUBES; THIN-FILM; TRANSPARENT; ARRAYS; NETWORKS; ELECTRODE; NANOSTRUCTURES; SIMULATION; CONDUCTORS; SURFACES