In this work, we developed highly flexible transparent film heaters (f-TFHs) composed of Ag nanowire networks (AgNWs) and aluminum zinc oxide (AZO). Uniform AgNWs were roll-to-roll coated on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates using the Mayer rod method, and AZO was sputter-deposited atop the AgNWs at room temperature. The sheet resistance (Rs) and transparency (Topt) of the AZO-coated AgNWs changed only slightly compared with the uncoated AgNWs. AZO is thermally less conductive than the heat pipes, but increases the thermal efficiency of the heaters blocking the heat convection through the air. Based on Joule heating, a higher average film temperature (Tave) is attained at a fixed electric potential drop between electrodes (I) as the Rs of the film decreases. Our experimental results revealed that Tave of the hybrid f-TFH is higher than AgNWs when the ratio of the area coverage of AgNWs to AZO is over a certain value. When a I as low as 3 V/cm was applied to 5 cm × 5 cm f-TFHs, the maximum temperature of the hybrid film was over 100 °C, which is greater than that of AgNWs by more than 30 °C. Furthermore, uniform heating throughout the surfaces is achieved in the hybrid films while heating begins in small areas where densities of the nanowires (NWs) are the highest in the bare network. The non-uniform heating decreases the lifetime of f-TFHs by forming hot spots. Cyclic bending test results indicated that the hybrid films were as flexible as the AgNWs, and the Rs of the hybrid films changes only slightly until 5000 cycles. Combined with the high-throughput coating technology presented here, the hybrid films will provide a robust and scalable strategy for large-area f-TFHs with highly enhanced performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry