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Graphene Reduces Complexity and Cost of Touchscreens

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Using a touchscreen.

Researchers say they have used graphene-treated nanowires to produce flexible touchscreens at a fraction of the current cost.

Credit: Petar Chernaev/iStockphoto

Graphene-treated nanowires can be used to produce flexible touchscreens at a fraction of the current cost, according to researchers from Surrey University and Trinity College Dublin's AMBER materials science center.

The team has produced hybrid electrodes, the building blocks of touchscreen technology, from silver nanowires and graphene. The researchers report the process is simple, scalable, and inexpensive. They note current materials are both expensive to make and designed for rigid, flat devices. Tablets and smartphones are often made with indium tin oxide, which is expensive and inflexible.

"Our work has cut the amount of expensive nanowires required to build such touchscreens by more than 50 times as well as simplifying the production process," says Surrey researcher Izabela Jurewicz. "We achieved this using graphene, a material that can conduct electricity and interpret touch commands whilst still being transparent."

AMBER professor Jonathan Coleman notes the material 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," Coleman says.

From The Engineer (United Kingdom)
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