The electric transport properties of flexible and transparent conducting bilayers, realized by sputtering ultrathin gold nanometric layers on sodium–alginate free-standing films, were studied. The reported results cover a range of temperatures from 3 to 300 K. In the case of gold layer thicknesses larger than 5 nm, a typical metallic behavior was observed. Conversely, for a gold thickness of 4.5 nm, an unusual resistance temperature dependence was found. The dominant transport mechanism below 70 K was identified as a fluctuation-induced tunneling process. This indicates that the conductive region is not continuous but is formed by gold clusters embedded in the polymeric matrix. Above 70 K, instead, the data can be interpreted using a phenomenological model, which assumes an anomalous expansion of the conductive region upon decreasing the temperature, in the range from 300 to 200 K. The approach herein adopted, complemented with other characterizations, can provide useful information for the development of innovative and green optoelectronics.
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
1 Mar 2021
Volume: 11 Issue: 3 Pages: 565