Novel Transparent TiO2/AgNW−Si(NH2)/PET Hybrid Films for Flexible Smart Windows

Tingting Hao, Shen Wang, Hongbo Xu, Xiang Zhang, Shlomo Magdassi, Lei Pan, Ying Song, Yao Li*, Jiupeng Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The application of flexible indium tin oxide (ITO)-free electrochromic devices (FCDs) has always been a research hotspot in flexible electronics. Recently, a silver nanowire (AgNW)-based transparent conductive film has raised great interest as an ITO-free substrate for FCDs. However, several challenges, such as the weak binding of AgNWs to the substrate, high junction resistance, and oxidation of AgNWs, remain. In this paper, a novel method for surface modification of AgNWs with N-aminoethyl-γaminopropyltrimethoxysilane [Si(NH2)] solution is proposed to enhance the bonding with the flexible substrates and the active materials, thereby inhibiting the delamination of AgNWs from the substrate and reducing the high junction resistance between nanowires. The TiO2/AgNW−Si(NH2)/poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) films show outstanding mechanical properties, of which the resistance remains almost unchanged after mechanical bending of 5000 cycles (ΔR/R0 ≈ 3.6%) and repeated peeling off cycles with 3M tape 100 times (ΔR/R0 ≈ 6.0%). In addition, we found that the oxygen-containing groups on the TiO2/AgNW− Si(NH2)/PET surface form hydrogen bonds with the TiO2 sol, resulting in tight contact between the TiO2 sol and the AgNWs, which prevents the AgNWs from oxidation. As a result, the TiO2/AgNW−Si(NH2)/PET film exhibited long-time aging (ΔR/R0 ≈ 4.9% in the air for 100 days) stability. A FCD was constructed with the TiO2/AgNW−Si(NH2)/PET film, which showed excellent electrochromic performance (94% retention) after 5000 bending cycles, indicating high stability and mechanical flexibility. These results present a promising solution to the transparent conductive films for flexible energy devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)21613-21622
Number of pages10
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • electrochromic devices
  • flexible smart windows
  • silver nanowire
  • titanium dioxide
  • tungsten trioxide


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