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Large Area Co-Assembly of Nanowires fo r Flexible Transparent Smart Windows
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139(29):9921-9926 Jul 2017

Wang, Jin-Long; Lu, Yi-Ruo; Li, Hui-Hui; Liu, Jian-Wei; Yu, Shu-Hong

Electrochromic devices with controllable color switching, low cost, and energy-saving advantages have been widely used as smart windows, rear-view car mirrors, displays, and so on. However, the devices are seriously limited for flexible electronics as they are traditionally fabricated on indium tin oxide (ITO) substrates which will lose their conductivity after bending cycles (the resistance significantly changed from 200 Ω to 6.56 MΩ when the bending radius was 1.2 cm). Herein, we report a new route for large area coassembly of nanowires (NWs), resulting in the formation of multilayer ordered nanowire (NW) networks with tunable conductivity (7–40 Ω/sq) and transmittance (58–86% at 550 nm) for fabrication of flexible transparent electrochromic devices, showing good stability of electrochromic switching behaviors. The electrochromic performance of the devices can be tuned and is strongly dependent on the structures of the Ag and W18O49 NW assemblies. Unlike the ITO-based electronics, the electrochromic films can be bent to a radius of 1.2 cm for more than 1000 bending cycles without obvious failure of both conductivity (ΔR/R ≈ 8.3%) and electrochromic performance (90% retention), indicating the excellent mechanical flexibility. The present method for large area coassembly of NWs can be extended to fabricate various NW-based flexible devices in the future.

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