Touch Screen Of The Future? A News Paper Like Foldable Screen
The roadmap to folding devices is now traced, and this year we expect next-level innovative products which are solid and less “prototypal“. Researchers at RMIT University have developed an ultra-thin and ultra-flexible electronic material. It could be printed and deployed as a newspaper for future foldable screens.
The “screen” is touch-sensitive, and 100 times thinner than existing touch screen materials. Being so flexible that it can be rolled up like a paper. To create the new conductive sheet, a team led by the RMIT University used a common thin film on smartphone touch screens. They reduced it from 3D to 2D, using liquid metal chemistry.
Nano-thin sheets are easily compatible with existing electronic technologies. Due to their incredible flexibility, they could be manufactured through roll-to-roll (R2R) processing, like a newspaper.
To make it they have used an alloy of indium and tin. It is heated to 200°C and then rolled onto a surface to print nano-thin sheets of indium and tin oxide. These 2D nano-sheets have the same chemical composition as the standard ITO, but a different crystalline structure. It gives them a new mechanical and optical properties.
The patent is now pending, and they are already working on creating a touch screen that works, as proof of concept. Moreover, it could also be used in solar cells and smart windows.