Researchers at the University of Sussex in England have found that a hybrid material consisting of silver nanowires that are linked together with graphene could be a strong contender in the battle to replace indium tin oxide as the transparent conductor in touch screen displays.

This material is said to be much cheaper to use since only a small amount of it is necessary in order to attain the properties of ITO. The graphene, according to the team, acts as a linker between the nanowires, which means that the network does not need to be dense. The graphene is deposited onto a sprayed network of nanowires by film deposition. The researchers explain that in their work, they have applied a mathematical technique to work out the smallest subpixel size possible without affecting the properties of the nanowire electrodes. The results give directions as to how to tune the nanowires to meet the requirements of any given application.

The team has joined forces with M-SOLV, based in Oxford, England; together, they are looking to apply these latest research results to commercial projects.

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