The end of screen breaks on mobile phones closer and closer

A new unbreakable polymeric surface will end screen breakage on mobile devices

The trend to manufacture mobiles with generous screens and increasingly slimmer and lighter designs is marred by the fragility of touchscreens in the face of bumps and falls from a certain height. It is easy to find devices that with just a few months already offer damage to the screen due to carelessness or accidental falls, whose replacement represents a significant outlay that is worth weighing. However, it seems that the end of screen breaks in mobile phones it is getting closer and closer, in view of the discovery of a new transparent electrode that is much more resistant and flexible.

Until now, for the manufacture of touchscreens conventional uses a transparent material called ITO, composed of a layer of indium tin oxide. But despite its good optical performance for the manufacture of touch screens, this material has the disadvantage of being extremely fragile against any impact on its surface. However, a team of polymer experts from the University of Akron in Ohio, have managed to create a transparent layer based on a polymeric surface with the transparency of the ITO, but with exceptional benefits in terms of endurance, flexibility and conductivity that make it a unbreakable material.

The team led by Yu Zhu, ensures that this material also has an added advantage, since it is much more economic to manufacture than the ITO, which would translate into a significant reduction in manufacturing costs and the price of the terminal in the market.

At the production level, it has the advantage of being able to be stored and transported in rolls, thanks to its extreme flexibility. A fact that favors the mass production of this unbreakable polymeric surface, with a lower cost of the production costs very interesting for the mobile phone industry.

The discovery of Zhu’s team has been published in various scientific media and according to laboratory reports, the tests carried out reveal that the material can withstand without altering tests of abrasion and bent up to thousand cycles without losing a single of its benefits. According to the project manager, this quality makes it a strong competitor ITO in the manufacture of unbreakable touch screens for mobile devices.

The economic viability of the mass manufacturing of this new material, makes its application by the mobile phone industry only a matter of time. Meanwhile, there are manufacturers such as Apple or HTC that have taken action on the matter, in the face of continuous complaints from users about the high costs of replacing the screens due to breaks or scratches. In the case of Apple, they have extended the warranty of the iPhone, and in the case of HTC, they have announced measures for the free replacement of the screen in the ONE family. Although these measures are only applicable in the US.

Images | via pixabay and University of Akron