Optimized manufacturing process for generating homogeneous silver nanowires and other nanostructures

Principal Investigator: Younan Xia

As electronic devices become more integrated into our daily lives, there is an increasing need for better transparent electrodes that can be applied to any shape while maintaining good conductivity. One approach is the use of metal nanostructures. However, conventional processing of metal nanostructures is laborious and has poor morphology control. Controlling the morphology of conductive nanostructures is key to manufacturing custom nanostructures to meet growing consumers needs, but synthetically manipulating nanomaterial shapes continues to be a major challenge. The industry needs a superior procedure for manufacturing homogenous complex nanostructures with superior properties that can be produced reliably with ease.

Using careful manipulation and altering specific manufacturing conditions, UW researchers have developed an innovative method for creating silver nanostructures. The various shapes include: nanocubes, nanowires, nanopyramids and multiply twinned particles. These nanostructures are fashioned out of metal alloy, ethylene glycol, and poly(vinyl pyrrolidone). By varying the ratios of these components and reaction conditions, the researchers can dictate the resulting nanostructure.

• Transparent electrodes for touch screens e-paper, LED lighting, and solar cells. 

• Optical spectroscopy enhancement agents. 

• Antimicrobial agents.

For more info, contact: Ryan Buckmaster