Flexible transparent conductor developed

A graphene-based solution has been found to the shrinking resources of tin compound used in electronics.

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Indium tin oxide (ITO) is the technology world’s main conductive material but it is very rare and becoming increasingly expensive. Graphene-based, GraphExeter, on the other hand, is plentiful and more flexible than what it is designed to replace.

Indium tin oxide (ITO) is the main conductive material used in electronics, but it is a very rare resource and becoming increasingly expensive. Graphene-based, GraphExeter, on the other hand, is not rare and is more flexible than what it is designed to replace.

GraphExeter is a graphene-based material. [University of Exeter]
GraphExeter is a graphene-based material. [University of Exeter]
In research funded by the EPSRC and Royal Society, a team from Exeter University has invented the material, which they call GraphExeter. The team, claim it is the “most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity ever invented”.

It is believed that the material could revolutionise the creation of wearable electronic devices, or be used in the creation of ‘smart’ mirrors or windows, with computerised interactive features. This material, which is transparent over a wide light spectrum, could enhance the efficiency of solar panels over 30% it is also claimed.

At just one-atom-thick, but extremely robust, graphene is the thinnest substance capable of conducting electricity. “The Exeter team sandwiched molecules of ferric chloride between two layers of graphene. Ferric chloride enhances the electrical conductivity of graphene, without affecting the material’s transparency,” the University revealed.

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