Researchers have developed a new stretchable and transparent electrical conductor, paving the way for fully foldable cell phone or a flat-screen television in the future. Also Read - New patent suggests Apple could follow Samsung’s lead for once
Zhifeng Ren, a physicist at the University of Houston and principal investigator at the Texas Center for Superconductivity, said there long has been research on portable electronics that could be rolled up or otherwise easily transported.
The gold nanomesh electrodes produced by Ren and his research associates Chuan Fei Guo and Tianyi Sun at UH, along with two colleagues at Harvard University, provide good electrical conductivity as well as transparency and flexibility.
The researchers reported that gold nanomesh electrodes, produced by the novel grain boundary lithography, increase resistance only slightly, even at a strain of 160 percent, or after 1,000 cycles at a strain of 50 percent.
According to the paper, the nanomesh, a network of fully interconnected gold nanowires, has good electrical conductivity and transparency, and has “ultrahigh stretchability.”
And unlike silver or copper, gold nanomesh does not easily oxidize, which Ren said causes a sharp drop in electrical conductivity in silver and copper nanowires.
The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications.