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Scientists use silver and graphene to create flexible screens May 24, 2018

According to foreign media Telegraph report, a few days ago, British scientists used silver and graphene as raw materials to invent a cheap and flexible touch screen.

At present, common touch screens on the market are very brittle because they are usually made of indium tin oxide and covered with a layer of glass so that when it falls to the ground, it can easily be smashed.

This indium tin oxide is not only fragile, it is still difficult to make, which makes the cost of maintaining the touch screen has been stubbornly high.

However, scientists at the University of Sussex in the UK have discovered through research that we can combine graphene, a substance consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, with silver nanowires to create a A screen with similar performance to conventional display screens, and the cost of this manufacturing technology is only a fraction of the cost of conventional display screens.

This material is also very flexible at the same time, so that it does not need a glass protective layer, which means that the top layer of the touch screen can be replaced with some more flexible, less easily broken materials, such as organic glass.

Dr Matthew Large, who led the study at the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex, said: "The reason why the touchscreen on your mobile phone is so easily broken is that it is used by touch sensors. The transparent conductive material is indium tin oxide. This material is very fragile, so it needs a hard surface like glass to protect it."

"If your phone falls on a hard surface, or if you accidentally sit on your cell phone, the broken material is actually the glass layer. The latest material we developed does not require a hard glass surface. Because the screen made of a mixture of silver nanowires and graphene is very flexible."

"We will still need a protective layer, but it can be something more flexible than glass. This way, when you accidentally drop your smartphone to the ground, your phone's screen will not be so easily broken. ."

Although silver is also a rare metal, unlike metallic indium, graphene only needs to be mixed with a small amount of silver to cover the same area. The amount of graphite required for the preparation of graphene is very rich, so the cost of preparing such a screen can be drastically reduced.

The scientists discovered that they can float graphene atoms on the water surface, pick them up with special tools, and place them on the top layer of the silver nanowire film in any way to complete the material preparation.

Prof. Alan Dalton of the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Sussex stated: "By using a sprayer and a roller press, we can easily use this method to mass-produce silver. The combination of nanowires and graphene means that the fragile cell phone screen will soon become history."

"The addition of graphene to silver nanowires also increases the conductivity of the screen material by a factor of almost 10,000."

“This means that we can use a very small dose of silver to produce a screen of the same level or better performance. Screens made from this material can respond faster and use less power.”

Dr. Latch added in the end: “This has helped us to develop a path that will allow us to freely bend and bend.” At present, this research has been published in the American Chemical Society magazine Langmuir.