British scientists develop UNBREAKABLE touchscreen

01:53 PM | 13 Sep, 2016
British scientists develop UNBREAKABLE touchscreen
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LONDON - British scientists have developed an unbreakable touchscreen for smartphones that won't crack when you drop it.

The new technology - at a fifth of the cost of current touchscreens - could reduce the prices of phones, TVs and tablets.

Currently electrodes (electrical conductors) in touchscreens are made from indium tin oxide (ITO), a rare and expensive metal. But indium supplies are running out, leading scientists to hunt for a new material.

Physicists at the University of Sussex, working with Oxford-based microelectrics firm M-Solv, were able to create hybrid electrodes from silver nanowires and graphene. Silver nanowire is 1/10,000 the width of a human hair, while graphene is the thinnest material on earth.

They form a transparent material that is highly flexible, making it resistant to cracks and breaks, the journal Nanoscale reports.

It also conducts electricity better than ITO. And at around £8 a square metre, silver nanowires and graphene is far cheaper than ITO, which costs £40 per square metre.

The new technology is likely to be rolled out on mobiles as early as 2018.