Science is amazing because is always pushing boundaries and makes our lives easier. Scientists brought us all the technology that is surrounding us these days, and it has no intention to stop there.
Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, science got more excited. The wonder material, a one atom thick honeycomb structured carbon, has amazing properties and a wide range of applications. Since it has great electrical conductivity, is 200 times stronger than steel and is flexible, it only was a question of when it will be implemented in touchscreens. Well the wait is almost over.
Currently the electrodes in our touchscreens are made from indium tin oxide (ITO), a scare and expensive material. But scientists developed a new hybrid material using silver nano-tubes and graphene. Silver nano-wire — wires that are 10,000 the width of a human hair — and graphene are both good conductors of electricity. This new material is lot more stronger than ITO and, not only compares with ITO in conductivity, but is exceeding it.
With a production price of about $10/m2 compared to $52/m2 , the new material should allow prices to drop quite a bit.
The material has been developed by scientists at the University of Sussex in liaison with M-SOLV, a microelectronics firm based in Oxford, and should hit the market as early as 2018.
Graphene is an amazing material that can be used in many ways to improve or replace current materials we use. With the graphene based batteries and super-capacitors, coating materials, solar power harvesting properties and ways to replace silicon based components in our computers, we are looking in for an exciting period of new and better technology.