What Types of Materials Work With Capacitive Touchscreens?

Jul 1, 2019

Have you ever wondered what materials will work with a capacitive touchscreen? Unlike resistive touchscreens, capacitive touchscreens require the use of an input device that’s able to conduct electricity. Being that the human body is an excellent conductor of electricity, you can operate a capacitive touchscreen using your bare finger (or fingers), But if you put on gloves, it will prevent your finger from absorbing the device’s electrical current, meaning the device won’t register your command.

But there are several materials that can conduct electricity and, therefore, work with capacitive touchscreens. It’s not uncommon for touchscreen gloves to feature one of these materials. The gloves themselves may be made of a traditional textile like wool or cotton. The fingertips, however, contain a conductive material that allows them to work with a capacitive touchscreen. Below are a few of the most common conductive materials that work with capacitive touchscreens.


You’ll often find the fingertips of conductive “touchscreen gloves” embedded and lined with copper. Specifically, copper yarn is used in touchscreen gloves. The copper yarn allows the gloves to absorb some of the electrical current produced by capacitive touchscreens. Therefore, you can operate a capacitive touchscreen while wearing touchscreen gloves made of copper yard.


In addition to copper, aluminum is another material that works with capacitive touchscreens. While aluminum isn’t as conductive as copper, it’s still able to conduct electricity — just like your bare fingers. As a result, it’s supported by capacitive touchscreens.

Thermal Paste

Thermal paste can also work with capacitive touchscreens. While most commonly used in computers, its conductive properties make it a viable option for touchscreen gloves. In computers, thermal paste is used to fill gaps or open areas between processors and heat sinks, thereby promoting the dissipation of heat and protecting the respective components from heat-related damage. But thermal paste can also be used as a material for touchscreen gloves. Because it’s conductive, it’s able to absorb some of the electrical current produced by capacitive touchscreens.

What About Resistive Touchscreens?

With resistive touchscreens, any material will work. This is because resistive touchscreens are designed to recognize touch commands using pressure. As a result, you don’t have to worry about a particular stylus, object or pair of gloves not working with a resistive touchscreen. As long as you press down hard enough, the device will register your touch command. But for capacitive touchscreens, you’ll need to use either your bare finger or a conductive material.

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