New Flexible and Transparent Conductor Created
For some time people have been searching for ways to make flexible and transparent electronics. Such devices could be rolled up and easily transported, but making the necessary flexible, transparent, and conductive materials has been proving difficult. Researchers at the University of Houston however have found a material that has all three of those properties, so maybe it will one day infiltrate our electronics.
While searching for flexible and transparent conductors, researchers have looked at metallic nanomeshes. Typically they are made of copper or silver, which are both very good conductors, but can oxidize and lose performance. The Houston researchers instead created a gold nanomesh, and gold, being less reactive than copper or silver, will not oxidize as readily. To create the nanomesh the researchers used grain boundary lithography, a new technique that allowed them to control the dimensions of the mesh structure.
When the researchers tested the gold nanomesh they found that it only suffered a small increase in resistance when strained to 160% or when it was strained by just 50% over a thousand cycles. When the nanomesh was allowed to relax back to its original size, it returned to its original conductivity.
Source: University of Houston