05.08.11

Touchscreens roll up after graphene breakthrough

Flexible, transparent touchscreens could be cost-effectively produced in the future as graphene rears its head again. We last reported on the carbon based substance as the key to developing flexible OLED displays. Now, researchers from Texas’ Rice University have combined graphene with a fine grid of metal nanowire to create robust, transparent, flexible and highly conductive touchscreens.

The development is heralded as a cost-effective alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO). The substance is used in most touch-screens but is also found in photovoltaic solar cells. As that market grows ITO is becoming increasingly expensive.

Rice researchers at the lab of chemist James Tour have already created thin films that demonstrate flexible touch screens could be hitting the market soon.

Dr Yh Zhu, a postdoctoral researcher, originally combined the pure graphene with fine metal meshes, noting massive conductivity benefits over using pure graphene.

A paper on the development was published by ACS Nano