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University of Surrey - Research reveals how Graphene can boost touch screen flexibility

DCN Corp® - New research published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials suggests that Graphene-treated nanowires could soon replace current touch screen technology, allowing for more affordable, flexible displays and significantly reducing production costs.  Credit - University of Surrey (UoS) and Trinity of College Dublin (TCD) Advanced Materials and Bio Engineering Research (AMBER)Nowadays majority of touch screen devices, such as tablets and smart phones, are manufactured employing Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) which is both extremely expensive and inflexible

Excitingly researchers from the University of Surrey (UoS) and Advanced Materials and Bio Engineering Research (AMBER) - materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) - have managed to demonstrate how Graphene treated nanowires can be used to produce flexible touch screens at a fraction of the current cost.

Developing a simple, scalable and inexpensive method the researchers created hybrid electrodes - primary building blocks for touch screen technology via Silver (Ag) nanowires and Graphene.

Dr Alan Dalton, UoS Department of Physics, stated - "The growing market in devices such as wearable technology and bendable smart displays poses a challenge to manufacturers.  They want to offer consumers flexible, touch screen technology but at an affordable and realistic price.  At the moment, this market is severely limited in the materials to hand, which are both very expensive to make and designed for rigid, flat devices."

As explained by the lead author - Dr Izabela Jurewicz - "Our work has cut the amount of expensive nanowires required to build such touch screens by more then fifty times as well as simplifying the production process.  We achieved this using Graphene, a material that can conduct electricity and interpret touch commands whilst still being transparent."

In addition, co-author, Professor Jonathan Coleman from AMBER - continued to state - "This is a real alternative to ITO displays and could replace existing touch screen technologies in electronic devices.  Even though this material is cheaper and easier to produce, it does not compromise on performance.

We are currently working with industrial partners to implement this research into future devices and it is clear that the benefits will soon be felt by manufacturers and consumers alike." [1] Original article available here

Please Note the above research benefited from funding and collaboration with M-SOLV - touch screen manufacturer.

The above research continues to positively highlight the potential of Graphene composites as viable alternatives to standard barrier materials.  As stated previously, DCN Corp strongly believes it can contribute, by increasing the above claimed savings. Going forward, if you and/or your colleagues are interested in making DCN Corp's alternative process reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.

[1] Jurewicz, I., Fahimi, A., Lyons, P. E., Smith, R. J., Cann, M., Large, M. L., Tian, M., Coleman, J. N. and Dalton, A. B. Insulator-Conductor type transitions in Graphene modified Silver nanowire networks: A route to inexpensive transparent conductors. Advanced Functional Materials 24, 48, 7580-7587 (2014) Journal citation available here