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.
The hybrid material could represent a step toward innovations, including flexible solar cells and color monitors, flexible "heads-up" displays in car windshields and information displays on eyeglasses and visors.
"The key innovation is a material that is transparent, yet electrically conductive and flexible," said David Janes, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The hybrid concept was proposed in earlier publications by Purdue researchers, including a 2011 paper in the journal Nano Letters.
Such hybrid structures could enable researchers to overcome the "electron-transport bottleneck" of extremely thin films, referred to as two-dimensional materials.
A patent application has been filed by Purdue's Office of Technology Commercialization.
Research findings were detailed in a paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
--ANI (Posted on 23-05-2013)