Researchers Propose Nano-Sized Touchscreen

Jan 28, 2020

The field of touchscreen technology is constantly evolving. Recently, researchers in Australia developed a new type of touchscreen technology that leverages the properties of nano-sized materials. Dubbed “touchscreens of the future,” researchers say the nano-sized touchscreens could soon offer a viable alternative to traditional touchscreens on the market.

About the New Nano-Sized Touchscreens

So, how do the new nano-sized touchscreens work exactly? Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia published a study highlighting its utility. Available to view in the journal Nature Technology, the study reveals a touchscreen device made of nano material that’s approximately 1,000 times thinner that the material used in traditional touchscreens.

Researchers say they were able to create the nano material using indium-tin oxide (ITO). As you may know, ITO is already used in many existing touchscreens. It’s a conductive material that’s able to direct electric currents and, thus, complete circuits.

In the study, researchers explained that they converted ITO into a new material that’s both thinner and more flexible than traditional ITO. The end result is a highly versatile material that can be easily integrated into touchscreen devices. The nano materials can be bent, twisted and otherwise deformed without succumbing to damage.

We’ve taken an old material and transformed it from the inside to create a new version that’s supremely thin and flexible,” said lead researcher Dr. Torben Daeneke. “You can bend it, you can twist it, and you could make it far more cheaply and efficiently than the slow and expensive way that we currently manufacture touchscreens.”

Researchers further explained than the nano material used in the ultra-thin touchscreens was made by heating ITO so that it turned into a liquid, after which it was rolled into sheets. The sheets were then laminated together to produce the layers needed for the touchscreen.

With its super thin profile, the nano material can be used to make incredibly small and compact touchscreens. There are other touchscreen technologies on the market, some of which are also capable of supporting small and compact touchscreens. None, however, offer the same thin profile as the nano material proposed by researchers from this study.

Of course, the new ultra-thin touchscreens are still in the early stages of development. It could take several years or longer until researchers have a finished version that’s ready to sell on the open market. Nonetheless, the use of nano material in touchscreens certainly shows promise. With its thin profile and elastic properties, it could pave the way for a new era of touchscreen devices.

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