Transparent electrodes made of silver nanowires (Ag NWs) exhibit a higher
flexibility than conventional indium tin oxide electrodes. For this reason, Ag NWs
may find applications in future flexible electronic and optoelectronic devices.
However, different optoelectronic devices have different specific requirements for
Ag NWs. For example, the optical transmittance haze is an important but rarely
studied aspect of Ag NW films. In this study, the optical transmittance and optical
scattering of long (5–50 μm, L-NWs) and short (1–20 μm, S-NWs) Ag NW films
were investigated. The L-NWs exhibited better optical transmission than the
S-NWs, whereas the S-NWs exhibited better light-scattering properties than the
L-NWs. Our results indicate that the L-NWs are suitable for touch-screen displays,
whereas the S-NWs are better suited as transparent conductive films for solar
cells. We analyzed the scattering ratio of forward-scattered light to backscattered
light for both the L-NWs and S-NWs and discovered that the mesh size affected
the scattering ratio. For longer wavelengths, a larger mesh yielded a higher
backscattering ratio, whereas a smaller mesh yielded a lower backscattering ratio.
We formulated an equation for calculating the reflection haze using the total
reflection (Ag NWs/glass), R and the reflection of glass, R0. The reflection haze
of the S-NWs and L-NWs exhibited different trends in the visible–near-infrared
region. An omnidirectional scattering model for the Ag NWs was used to evaluate
the Ag NW scattering properties. The results of this study have great significance
for the evaluation of the performance of Ag NWs in optoelectronic devices.