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.
"So neither is good for conducting electricity, but when you combine them in a hybrid structure, they are," Janes said.
The graphene is draped over the silver nanowires."It's like putting a sheet of cellophane over a bowl of noodles," Janes said. "The graphene wraps around the silver nanowires and stretches around them."
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
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