Australian researchers have created thin electronic material for a new generation of touch screens that can be folded and bent like a newspaper.
The new material consists of indium oxide and tin, naukatv.ru reports. Developers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology used liquid metal printing techniques to turn it into a flat film. The material responds to touch, while remaining 100 times thinner than all existing touch screens. Also, the coating is so flexible that it can be rolled into a tube. Based on the material, a working prototype of the touch screen has already been developed, and the team has filed a patent application to bring the technology to the commercial market.
Nano-thin sheets have high electrical conductivity, and their thickness is about 1.4 nanometers. A two-dimensional plane makes the material more transparent and transmits more light. This means that a phone with a touch screen made of such material will consume less energy, increasing battery life by about 10%. Modern methods for producing transparent films for conventional touch screens are a slow, energy-intensive and expensive process carried out in a vacuum chamber. The new approach does not require expensive or specialized equipment. The nanofine coating is compatible with existing electronic technologies and, due to its high flexibility, can be manufactured by roll processing.
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