Cracked Cell Phone Screens Could Be a Thing of the Past
Science & Tech / /
The screen of today’s smartphones are one of the major design flaws, but researchers have been working on energy-efficient and durable material that could replace the fragile screens made out of silicone, a material that is easily broken— and might one day even charge the phone's battery.
Almost every smartphone owner is familiar with the feeling of watching the phone fall to the ground and seeing the spiderweb screen into dozens of small pieces. But it seems like there is a solution for this stressful situations.
One of the researchers participating in this research, Claudia Ojeda-Aristizabal from California State University, Long Beach, said that the material is made by layering hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), graphene, and C60, which is also known as Buckminsterfullerene, or "bucky-ball," because of its resemblance to the geodesic dome structures of architect Buckminster Fuller.
The new material is not only crack-resistant, but is also energy-efficient and is a fast conductor of electricity. Because of the C60, which is mostly used in solar cells, the material could also recharge your phone's battery.
The materials works in a way that graphene, a 2D form of carbon, is stronger even than steel, and is ultra-lightweight and conductive at the same time. The hBN helps electrons move between the graphene and the C60, which is the another conductive material.
Layered one above the other, these transparent materials complement each other. The conductive properties of C60 and graphene, together with the hBN, ensure that the electricity in the screen will move very quickly. That ability combined with the solar charging abilities of C60, make this material ideal for a phone screen.
It has some similar properties to silicone, Elton Santos of Queen's University's School said in a press statement, "but it has improved chemical stability, lightness, and flexibility."
The research was a collaboration between scientists at Queen's University Belfast, Sanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, California State University, and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan. The results of their work were published in the journal ACS Nano.
It is believed that the new material could be used for many other gadgets beside the smartphone screens, perhaps for crack-proof windows for homes or offices or solar-powered windshields.
Beside all the benefits that this miracle material posses it still has its drawbacks. One of those is lack of "bandgap," meaning that its electrical signal and conductivity and can't switched on and off according to the needs.
But once this problem is solved, cracked smartphone screens can be a thing of the past.
Sorce: Live Science