Transparent film could play role in future flexi displays

Researchers have developed an ultrathin, conductive film that promises to play a role in future production of flexible touchscreen displays. The transparent and highly conductive material was produced using a cheap and simple method by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University.

The film is described by researchers as “a mat of tangled nanofiber, electroplated to form a ‘self-junctioned copper nano-chicken wire’ was reported on in the June 13 issue of Advanced Materials.

Alexander Yarin, UIC Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and one of two corresponding authors on the publication, said: “It’s important, but difficult, to make materials that are both transparent and conductive.” 

Sam Yoon, another author and professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University, said the film offered a “world-record combination of high transparency and low electrical resistance,” claiming the latter was at least 10-fold greater than the previous existing record.

The film also retains its properties after repeated cycles of severe stretching or bending.

Co-authors include Yoon’s predoctoral student Seongpil An of Korea University, Mark T. Swihart of the State University of New York at Buffalo, and others.

Funding was provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea.