You know how it goes when your phone slips from your hand onto the pavement. That display shatters, and you can either try and make the cracked screen work for a while or you can suck it up and drop some hard cash on a new handset. Either way, it’s a bummer. However, researchers at the University of Akron have developed technology that could eradicate that particular plague by making smartphone
The team used a transparent layer of electrodes to make a polymer surface both tough and flexible, as well as more conductive than the current standard indium tin oxide (ITO) coating.
Yu Zhu, assistant professor of polymer science at the University of Akron, asserted that this technology, is cheaper to make than ITO to boot. His team found that a polymer coated with the electrode layer retained its shape and flexibility after being bent 1,000 times, and because of its flexibility, it could be manufactured inexpensively in large rolls.
“We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor,” Zhu told the University of Akron newsroom. “The annoying problem of cracked smartphone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touchscreen.”
The team’s research, titled “A Tough and High-Performance Transparent Electrode from a Scalable and Transfer-Free Method”, has been published
in the American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Nano.
If you drop your phone in the toilet, though, you’re still out of luck.