WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Researchers have created a new type of transparent electrode that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics and future “optoelectronic” circuits for sensors and information processing.
The electrode is made of silver nanowires covered with a material called graphene, an extremely thin layer of carbon. The hybrid material shows promise as a possible replacement for indium tin oxide, or ITO, used in transparent electrodes for touch-screen monitors, cell-phone displays and flat-screen televisions. Industry is seeking alternatives to ITO because of drawbacks: It is relatively expensive due to limited abundance of indium, and it is inflexible and degrades over time, becoming brittle and hindering performance.
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