Ag wetting on oxides is essential for implementing exceptional layered Ag superstructures with simultaneous ultralow losses in electrical conductance and optical transmittance. This goal is difficult to achieve by conventional synthetic techniques involving the incorporation of heterogeneous transition metals or metalloids into Ag as wetting inducers as they cause detrimental optoelectrical changes. This study provides novel insights into the use of homogeneous Ag wetting seeds to improve the wetting of Ag on oxides. We investigated the effect of atomic O incorporation on the improvement of Ag wetting by monitoring its participation in and contribution to the Ag clustering and layering processes. Minimal incorporation of dissolved atomic O as a surfactant into the Ag nanoparticles transposed the nanoparticle evolution path from a complete to incomplete coalescence mode at significantly reduced thicknesses, which was attributed to a reduction in the nanoparticle free energy. The size and shape of the O-incorporated Ag nanoparticles were precisely controlled to accelerate the wetting transition of Ag on ZnO substrates by circumventing the transmutation effect of O. These results demonstrate a notable strategy for accomplishing a rapid Ag wetting transition toward a completely continuous layer with ultralow optoelectrical losses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- Condensed Matter Physics
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films