Few conductors are transparent and flexible. Metals have the best electrical conductivity, but they are opaque and stiff in bulk form. However, metals can be transparent and flexible when they are very thin or properly arranged on the nanoscale. This review focuses on the flexible transparent conductors based on percolating networks of metal. Specifically, we discuss the fabrication, the means to improve the electrical conductivity, the large stretchability and its mechanism, and the applications of these metal networks. We also suggest some criteria for evaluating flexible transparent conductors and propose some new research directions in this emerging field.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.08.018