Indexed on: 23 Sep '14Published on: 23 Sep '14Published in: Chemical Society Reviews
Flexible electronics have gained considerable research interest in the recent years because of their special features and potential applications in flexible displays, artificial skins, sensors, sustainable energy, etc. With unique geometry, outstanding electronic/optoelectronic properties, excellent mechanical flexibility and good transparency, inorganic nanowires (NWs) offer numerous insights and opportunities for flexible electronics. This article provides a comprehensive review of the inorganic NW based flexible electronics studied in the past decade, ranging from NWs synthesis and assembly to several important flexible device and energy applications, including transistors, sensors, display devices, memories and logic gates, as well as lithium ion batteries, supercapacitors, solar cells and generators. The integration of various flexible nanodevices into a self-powered system was also briefly discussed. Finally, several future research directions and opportunities of inorganic NW flexible and portable electronics are proposed.