Compton, David (2012)
M.Res. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Flexible, transparent and conductive layers are required for the production of flexible touchscreen displays. Indium tin oxide deposited on a PET or PEN substrate has been identified as a potential candidate for this application, but one barrier to its successful deployment is the deterioration of its conductive properties when exposed to acid and the simultaneous application of strain. Samples were produced with varying substrate temperatures at deposition and immersed in varying concentrations of acrylic acid, before resistance was measured during the application of strain. Samples were also characterized by
scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy and nanoscratching. PET samples cracked prior to the application of any strain due to a high thermal mismatch, whilst PEN samples remained intact and were therefore used for the majority of experimentation. All samples were found to be crystalline in nature, with a higher grain size present in those deposited at a higher temperature. The effect of increased thermal mismatch between substrate and ITO was caused a higher sensitivity to increasing acid concentration in samples deposited at a higher temperature. Cracks due to cohesive failure formed first and dominated the initial stages of sample failure, with cracks from adhesive failure forming later.
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