Biomimic Vein-Like Transparent Conducting Electrodes with Low Sheet Resistance and Metal Consumption

in: Nano-Micro Letters (2020)
Jia, Guobin; Plentz, Jonathan; Dellith, Andrea; Dellith, Jan; Schmidt, Christa; Schmidl, Gabriele; Andrä, Gudrun
Resource efficiency is an important issue in our modern society. Our community is facing severe problems with the short supply of critical resources and energy. In this contribution, inspired by the excellent resource management and transport function of leaf veins, we mimic the electrical current transport through metallized vein networks produced by electroless copper plating. It is demonstrated that certain leaf veins can be converted to transparent conductive electrodes with an ultralow sheet resistance 100 times lower than that of state-of-the-art ITO thin films, combined with a broadband optical transmission of above 80% in the UV-VIS-IR range. Additionally, the resource efficiency of the vein-like electrode is characterized by the small amount of material needed to build up the networks and the low copper consumption during metallization. In particular, the high-current-density transport capability of the electrode was demonstrated, which can promote high-power-density applications in optoelectronics, Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors.

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