With ever-increasing demand for lightweight, small, and portable devices, the rate of production of electronic and optoelectronic devices is constantly increasing, and alternatives to the current heavy, voluminous, fragile, conductive and transparent materials will inevitably be needed in the future. Conductive metal nanomaterials (such as silver, gold, copper, zinc oxide, aluminum, and tin) and carbon-based conductive materials (carbon nanotubes and graphene) exhibit great promise as alternatives to conventional conductive materials. Successfully incorporating conductive nanomaterials into thin films would combine their excellent electrical and optical properties with versatile mechanical characteristics superior to those of conventional conductive materials. In this review, the different conductive metal nanomaterials are introduced, and the challenges facing methods of thin film deposition and applications of thin films as conductive coatings are investigated.

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Journal reference: Coatings 2018, 8(8), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8080278 (registering DOI)

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