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Langmuir. 2013 Oct 1;29(39):12259-65. doi: 10.1021/la4026798. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Two-dimensional micropatterns via crystal growth of Na2CO3 for fabrication of transparent electrodes.

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Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Dankook University , 152 Jukjeon-ro, Suji-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 448-701, Korea.


The simple and versatile method to generate two-dimensional micropatterns by controlling precisely crystallization of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) was investigated. Dense clusters of dendrites of salt crystals were homogeneously formed in a large area with an aqueous solution of Na2CO3 during evaporation of water. The dimensions and morphologies of dendritic salt crystals were tuned by changing the growth conditions such as salt concentration, relative humidity, and temperature. Then, 2D micropatterns of salt crystals were directly used as a mask for the deposition of a silver (Ag) layer to fabricate transparent electrodes. After salt crystals were completely dissolved in water, the network of an electrically conductive Ag layer, whose patterns were reversely produced from salt crystals, was generated on glass substrates. In addition, salt crystals were used as a master to prepare a replica mold of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) for utilizing the imprinting technique. By imprinting a flexible PDMS mold with Ag inks, Ag micropatterns that were perfectly identical to dendrites of salt crystals were transferred to the other substrate.

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