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Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 3;5:10715. doi: 10.1038/srep10715.

Cu mesh for flexible transparent conductive electrodes.

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Department of Cogno-Mechatronics Engineering, Pusan National University, Miryang, 627-706 (Republic of Korea).
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States).
Department of Nanofusion Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan, 609-735 (Republic of Korea).
Busan Center, Korea Basic Science Institute, Busan, 618-230 (Republic of Korea).
KAIST Analysis Center for Research Advancement, Daejeon, 305-701 (Republic of Korea).
Division of General Studies, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 689-798 (Republic of Korea).
Frontier in Extreme Physics, Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, Daejeon, 305-340, (Republic of Korea).


Copper electrodes with a micromesh/nanomesh structure were fabricated on a polyimide substrate using UV lithography and wet etching to produce flexible transparent conducting electrodes (TCEs). Well-defined mesh electrodes were realized through the use of high-quality Cu thin films. The films were fabricated using radio-frequency (RF) sputtering with a single-crystal Cu target--a simple but innovative approach that overcame the low oxidation resistance of ordinary Cu. Hybrid Cu mesh electrodes were fabricated by adding a capping layer of either ZnO or Al-doped ZnO. The sheet resistance and the transmittance of the electrode with an Al-doped ZnO capping layer were 6.197 ohm/sq and 90.657%, respectively, and the figure of merit was 60.502 × 10(-3)/ohm, which remained relatively unchanged after thermal annealing at 200 °C and 1,000 cycles of bending. This fabrication technique enables the mass production of large-area flexible TCEs, and the stability and high performance of Cu mesh hybrid electrodes in harsh environments suggests they have strong potential for application in smart displays and solar cells.

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