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Research Brings ­nbreakable Phones One Step Closer


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Hammering on a smartphone handset.

A new method for transferring electronics onto a flexible surface could result in flexible displays, solar cells, and energy harvesters.

Credit: bitemyapple.co

Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have developed a method for transferring electronics with versatile functionality onto a flexible surface. The researchers say the technology has immediate potential for consumer electronics applications in flexible displays, solar cells, and energy harvesters.

Oxide materials are brittle and have high processing temperatures, but the RMIT method overcomes the challenges of incorporating oxide materials in bendable electronic devices. The approach uses transparent conductive indium tin oxide and rubber-like silicone, which also is biocompatible.

"We have discovered a micro-tectonic effect, where microscale plates of oxide materials slide over each other, like geological plates, to relieve stress and retain electrical conductivity," says lead researcher Philipp Gutruf.

He says the process could unleash the potential of fully functional flexible electronics and provide a new way for materials to mesh together.

From RMIT News
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