Too many of us are carrying shattered phones because screens we can't afford new screens. However, scientists from the University of Akron may have discovered a solution to save fragile phones their dilapidated doom.
Lead researcher Yu Zhu, assistant professor of polymer science at University of Akron, and his team created a transparent electrode that could make phones shatterproof.
Zhu and his team found that that a transparent layer of electrodes on a polymer surface helps boost surface toughness and flexibility. Researchers said that latest findings were proven with repeated scotch tape peeling and bending tests.
Conductive metal films are patterned into transparent metal nanowire networks by using electrospun fibers as a mask. Both the transmittance and sheet resistance (6 Ω/□ at 83% transmittance and 24 Ω/□ at 92% transmittance) of the metal nanowire-based electrode out-perform commercial indium doped tin oxide (ITO) electrodes.
The metal nanowire-based transparent electrodes were fabricated on both rigid glass and flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates. In addition to state of art performance, the transparent electrodes also exhibit outstanding toughness. They can withstand repeated scotch tape peeling and various bending tests. The method for making the metal nanowire is scalable, and a touch screen on flexible substrate is demonstrated.