Unbreakable screen is something most of us want. While Corning’s Gorilla Glass is getting better with every new version — right now new devices ship with Gorilla Glass 3 — it’s still breakable.
Scientists at University of Akron claim they’ve managed to make an even tougher screen, using transparent electrodes to make for harder-to-break panels.
At the moment, most screens are coated with a conductive substance called indium tin oxide (ITO), which is not only used in mobile devices but also in plasma TVs. The problems with this substance are threefold: it’s expensive, there’s a limited supply of it, and it’s also pretty fragile. The new technology could solve all these issues.
In a study published in American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Nano, an assistant professor of polymer science named Yu Zhu describes how his team has created a mesh of metal electrodes and sandwiched it to a layer of polymer. The result was a super-tough screen that stood up to brutal testing, and perhaps more important – it’s more affordable to produce, and not limited to a small supply like ITO.
“We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor,” Zhu said. “The annoying problem of cracked smartphone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touchscreen.”
Sounds like a dream come true though we would guess this technology is still years away before hitting the production phase. We’ll make sure to follow its progress, though.