We developed highly bendable transparent indium tin oxide (ITO) electrodes with a mesh pattern for use in flexible electronic devices. The mesh patterns lowered tensile stress and hindered propagation of cracks. Simulations using the finite element method confirmed that the mesh patterns decreased tensile stress by over 10% because of the escaped strain to the flexible film when the electrodes were bent. The proposed patterned ITO electrodes were simply fabricated by photolithography and wet etching. The resistance increase ratio of a mesh-patterned ITO electrode after bending 1000 times was at least two orders of magnitude lower than that of a planar ITO electrode. In addition, crack propagation was stopped by the mesh pattern of the patterned ITO electrode. A mesh-patterned ITO electrode was used in a liquid-based organic light-emitting diode (OLED). The OLED displayed the same current density-voltage-luminance (J-V-L) curves before and after bending 100 times. These results indicate that the developed mesh-patterned ITO electrodes are attractive for use in flexible electronic devices.
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