PITA Fiscal Year 2015 Projects

Silver Nanowire Materials for Advanced Electronic Contacts in Next Generation Energy and Telecommunications Technologies

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Prof. Nicholas Strandwitz, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Co-PI(s): Prof. Brandon Krick, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
PA Industry: Solvay USA

Solution processed electronic materials offer new functionality and drastically lower cost than traditional materials. Next generation electronic devices for communications and energy conversion present new challenges in functionality, especially in the application of transparent conducting materials. Here we develop a unique team including a materials chemist (Strandwitz), tribologist (Krick), and manufacturer of solution processed silver nanowires (Solvay). In the proposed work we address several key challenges associated with these materials: colloidal stability, electronic properties, and mechanical robustness. The Strandwitz group will utilize novel electrochemical techniques and short-chain surfactants to produce stable solutions of Ag nanowires for robust industrial use. Further, the Strandwitz group will investigate the electronic properties of interfaces between Ag nanowires and other electronic components, which is essential for industrial adoption. In tandem, Krick and Strandwitz, will utilize atomic layer deposition coatings to augment the mechanical strength of the Ag nanowire films. These research efforts will enable more stable solutions of Ag nanowires, an expressed concern of Solvay customers, while characterizing the electronic and tribological properties that are critical to industrial use.