Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Materials Science and Engineering
Kristen P. Constant
Transparent conducting electrodes with the combination of high optical transmission and good electrical conductivity are essential for solar energy harvesting and electric lighting devices. Currently, indium tin oxide (ITO) is used because ITO offers relatively high transparency (>80%) to visible light and low sheet resistance (Rs = 10 ohms/square) for electrical conduction. However, ITO is costly due to limited indium reserves, and it is brittle. These disadvantages have motivated the search for other conducting electrodes with similar or better properties. There has been research on a variety of electrode structures involving carbon nanotube networks, graphene films, nanowire and nanopatterned meshes and grids. Due to their novel characteristics in light manipulation and collection, photonic crystal structures show promise for further improvement. Here, we report on a new architecture consisting of nanoscale high aspect ratio metallic photonic structures as transparent electrodes fabricated via a combination of processes. For (Au) and silver (Ag) structures, the visible light transmission can reach as high as 80%, and the sheet resistance of the structure can be as low as 3.2 ohms/square. The optical transparency of the high aspect ratio metal structures at visible wavelength range is comparable to that of ITO glass, while their sheet resistance is more than 3 times lower, which indicates a much higher electrical conductivity of the metal structures. Furthermore, the high aspect ratio metal structures have very high infrared (IR) reflection (90%) for the transverse magnetic (TM) mode, which can lead to the development of fabrication of metallic structures as IR filters for heat control applications. Investigations of interdigitated structures based on the high aspect ratio metal electrodes are ongoing to study the feasibility in smart window applications in light transmission modulation.
Kuang, Ping, "A new architecture as transparent electrodes for solar and IR applications based on photonic structures via soft lithography" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12111.