Flexible 3D Electrodes of Free-Standing TiN Nanotube Arrays Grown by Atomic Layer Deposition with a Ti Interlayer as an Adhesion Promoter

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2020 Feb 26;10(3):409. doi: 10.3390/nano10030409.


Nanostructured electrodes and their flexible integrated systems have great potential for many applications, including electrochemical energy storage, electrocatalysis and solid-state memory devices, given their ability to improve faradaic reaction sites by large surface area. Although many processing techniques have been employed to fabricate nanostructured electrodes onto flexible substrates, these present limitations in terms of achieving flexible electrodes with high mechanical stability. In this study, the adhesion, mechanical properties and flexibility of TiN nanotube arrays on a Pt substrate were improved using a Ti interlayer. Highly ordered and well-aligned TiN nanotube arrays were fabricated on a Pt substrate using a template-assisted method with an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template and atomic layer deposition (ALD) system. We show that with the use of a Ti interlayer between the TiN nanotube arrays and Pt substrate, the TiN nanotube arrays could perfectly attach to the Pt substrate without delamination and faceted phenomena. Furthermore, the I-V curve measurements confirmed that the electric contact between the TiN nanotube arrays and substrate for use as an electrode was excellent, and its flexibility was also good for use in flexible electronic devices. Future efforts will be directed toward the fabrication of embedded electrodes in flexible plastic substrates by employing the concepts demonstrated in this study.

Keywords: 3D electrode; TiN nanotube; adhesion promoter; atomic layer deposition; flexible device; nanomaterials.