Rejoice, Clumsy People; Science Has Invented Shatterproof Phone Screens
Parents of small children, you may also celebrate!
Smartphones are amazing – until you accidentally drop them, and their screens shatter, and you sit on the floor weeping for hours over the hundreds of dollars you just threw away. But thankfully, researchers at the University of Akron have developed a new phone surface that may render them completely shatterproof.
Assistant professor of polymer science Yu Zhu and his team discovered that, by adding a (fully transparent) layer of electrodes to a polymer surface, it makes the surface way more durable and flexible. Current smartphone screens are made of something called indium tin oxide (ITO), which is both weaker and more expensive than this new electrode-polymer layer. Additionally, the polymer is even more conductive than the current ITO surfaces.
The polymer is so flexible it’s likely going to be sold to phone manufacterers in huge, bulk rolls – and it can be bent over 1,000 times without breaking. “We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor,” said Zhu of his new surface. “The annoying problem of cracked smart phone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touch screen.”
And every parent or clumsy person in the world celebrated (while keeping a firm grip on their current smartphones).