New research points to graphene as a flexible, low-cost touchscreen solution

September 26, 2014

New research published today in the journal Advanced Functional Materials suggests that graphene-treated nanowires could soon replace current touchscreen technology, significantly reducing production costs and allowing for more affordable, flexible displays.

The majority of today's touchscreen devices, such as tablets and smartphones are made using (ITO) which is both expensive and inflexible. Researchers from the University of Surrey and AMBER, the materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin have now demonstrated how graphene-treated nanowires can be used to produce flexible touchscreens at a fraction of the current cost.

Using a simple, scalable and inexpensive method the researchers produced hybrid electrodes, the building blocks of touchscreen technology, from and graphene.

Dr Alan Dalton from the University of Surrey said, "The growing market in devices such as wearable technology and bendable smart displays poses a challenge to manufacturers. They want to offer consumers flexible, touchscreen technology but at an affordable and realistic price. At the moment, this market is severely limited in the materials to hand, which are both very expensive to make and designed for rigid, flat devices."

Lead author, Dr Izabela Jurewicz from the University of Surrey commented, "Our work has cut the amount of expensive nanowires required to build such touchscreens by more than fifty times as well as simplifying the production process. We achieved this using graphene, a material that can conduct electricity and interpret touch commands whilst still being transparent."

Co-author, Professor Jonathan Coleman, AMBER, added, "This is a real alternative to ITO displays and could replace existing touchscreen technologies in electronic devices. Even though this material is cheaper and easier to produce, it does not compromise on performance."

"We are currently working with industrial partners to implement this research into future devices and it is clear that the benefits will soon be felt by manufacturers and consumers alike."

Explore further: Transparent electrode innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors, displays

Related Stories

Stretchable, transparent graphene-metal nanowire electrode

May 30, 2013

A hybrid transparent and stretchable electrode could open the new way for flexible displays, solar cells, and even electronic devices fitted on a curvature substrate such as soft eye contact lenses, by the UNIST(Ulsan National ...

Shatterproof screens that save smartphones

June 6, 2014

University of Akron polymer scientists have developed a transparent electrode that could change the face of smartphones, literally, by making their displays shatterproof.

First graphene-based flexible display produced

September 5, 2014

(Phys.org) —A flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels' electronics has been successfully demonstrated by the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic, the first time graphene has been used in a transistor-based ...

Recommended for you

Graphene under pressure

August 25, 2016

Small balloons made from one-atom-thick material graphene can withstand enormous pressures, much higher than those at the bottom of the deepest ocean, scientists at the University of Manchester report.

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins

August 25, 2016

Ultrasound imaging is used around the world to help visualize developing babies and diagnose disease. Sound waves bounce off the tissues, revealing their different densities and shapes. The next step in ultrasound technology ...

Nanovesicles in predictable shapes

August 25, 2016

Beads, disks, bowls and rods: scientists at Radboud University have demonstrated the first methodological approach to control the shapes of nanovesicles. This opens doors for the use of nanovesicles in biomedical applications, ...

Neuromorphic computing mimics important brain feature

August 18, 2016

(Phys.org)—When you hear a sound, only some of the neurons in the auditory cortex of your brain are activated. This is because every auditory neuron is tuned to a certain range of sound, so that each neuron is more sensitive ...

'Artificial atom' created in graphene

August 22, 2016

In a tiny quantum prison, electrons behave quite differently as compared to their counterparts in free space. They can only occupy discrete energy levels, much like the electrons in an atom - for this reason, such electron ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Canis Maximus
not rated yet Sep 28, 2014
Apple and Samsung to sue in three... two... one...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.