There is nothing that gives you a mini heart attack than the falling of your smartphone on the cold, hard floor. This is because there is nothing as fragile in this dear life than your smartphone screen. Many folks go about town with shattered screens in their pockets and have since developed ninja eyes in reading texts on such messy screens. But not to worry so much: scientists, led by one Dr. Yu Zhu of the University of Akron (Ohio, USA) have invented new a way of making your smartphone screen shatterproof.
The problem that exists as at now is that your conventional smartphone screen is coated with a chemical material called Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) which Dr. Yu Zhu, in all his brilliance, has identified as the culprit for easily smashed screens. The ITO material has brittle properties and that is why one single drop of your smartphone results in numerous screen cracks, so many you wonder what a costly mistake it is when you don’t have enough hand grip.
So what our cool friend, Dr. Yu Zhu has done is to come up with a new flexible transparent coating he developed in his polymer science lab back there at Uni of Akron. Dr. Zhu in June 2014 demonstrated how this transparent polymer surface, which consists of electrodes, withstands repeated bending tests and still retain its shape even after 1000 flexes.
“We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true [Indium Tin Oxide] competitor,” Zhu says. “The annoying problem of cracked smartphone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touchscreen.”
It also turns out that Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is not only weaker (brittle) but also costly to manufacture. Dr. Yu Zhu, what a genius he is, says the new flexible transparent film he developed is way cheaper than the ITO. This means that the new touch screen not only will be a tough nut to crack, but also will be cheaper to produce than the conventional Indium Tin Oxide coated screens.
“These two pronounced factors drive the need to substitute ITO with a cost-effective and flexible conductive transparent film,” Zhu said in a news release.