Researchers have developed a type of transparent electrode that may be useful to display makers that are pursuing the commercialization of flexible displays.
Using a combination of silver nanowires and graphene, the researchers created an electrode that might be a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO)—commonly used in transparent electrodes of touch screen monitors, cell-phone displays, and flat-screen TVs.
The creator claims that their hybrid material can help manufacturers meet consumer demands because it is more accessible than the limited supply of indium. Furthermore, the added benefit of the new transparent electrode is that it is flexible, meaning it can withstand punishment as compared to the alternative which will break and degrade over time.
According to the researchers, the nanowires and graphene compliments each other to make a material that is good for conducting electricity while still providing the transparent and flexible properties. The graphene drapes over the silver nanowires to create the hybrid structure.
“…Neither is good for conducting electricity, but when you combine them in a hybrid structure, they are,” said David Janes, an electrical and computer engineering professor. “It’s like putting a sheet of cellophane over a bowl of noodles. The graphene wraps around the silver nanowires and stretches around them.”