Researchers developed tougher smartphone screens2017-10-26 09:22 by Daniela
Researchers at the University of Sussex have found a way to make a kind of smartphone screens that are less fragile, cheaper and also environmentally friendly.
They reduced the amount of silver used by combining it with graphene – sheets of carbon just one atom thick.To make the screen, the researchers float the graphene film on the surface of water, then pick it up with a rubber stamp and press it on top of a layer of silver nanowire. The new material could also lead to touchscreens that are easy to manufacture, more responsive, less power-hungry, and even flex and bend.
"The addition of graphene to the silver nanowire network also increases its ability to conduct electricity by around a factor of ten thousand," says Alan Dalton, head of the team behind the material. "This means we can use a fraction of the amount of silver to get the same, or better, performance. As a result screens will be more responsive and use less power."
"One of the issues with using silver is that it tarnishes in air," says Matthew Large, lead researcher on the project. "What we've found is that the graphene layer prevents this from happening by stopping contaminants in the air from attacking the silver. What we've also seen is that when we bend the hybrid films repeatedly the electrical properties don't change, whereas you see a drift in the films without graphene that people have developed previously. This paves the way towards one day developing completely flexible devices."
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