Today’s state-of-the-art touchscreens utilize a myriad of almost-transparent electronics in order to recognize when they are being touched.
Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a new microscopic 3D printing technique capable of providing higher sensitivity and even greater transparency to touchscreens.
The new technique, called Nanodrip, uses ink-jet printing to deposit electrohydrodynamic ink in the form of grid, gradually building up ‘nanowalls’ that act as conductors.
The ink that is used is comprised of gold nanoparticles held in a solvent, which evaporates as the ink is deposited, resulting in a solid structure being built.
What’s left is a criss-crossing grid of gold walls, whose thickness can vary between 80 and 500 nanometers, perfect for conducting electricity.
The researchers report that the new grids “have a higher conductivity and are more transparent than those made of indium tin oxide, the standard material used in smartphones and tablets today.”
Check out the full results published in Advanced Functional Materials.