We have synthesized conductive nanocomposites composed of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and Au nanoparticles (NPs). The Au NPs with an average size of approximately 4.3 nm are uniformly anchored on the MWCNT. After being exposed to microwave (MW) plasma irradiation, the anchored Au NPs melt and fuse, leading to larger aggregates (34 nm) that can connect the MWCNT forming a three-dimensional conducting network. The formation of a continuous MWCNT network can produce more a conductive pathway, leading to lower sheet resistance. When the Au-MWCNT is dispersed in the highly conductive polymer, poly(ethylene dioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), we can obtain solution-processable composite formulations for the preparation of a flexible transparent electrode. The resulting Au-MWCNT/PEDOT:PSS hybrid films possess a sheet resistance of 51 ω/sq with a transmittance of 86.2% at 550 nm. We also fabricate flexible organic solar cells and electrochromic devices to demonstrate the potential use of the as-prepared composite electrodes. Compared with the indium tin oxide-based devices, both the solar cells and electrochromic devices with the composites incorporated as a transparent electrode deliver comparable performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas