>> Broken phone screens are the inevitable consequence of our desire for bigger, yet thinner handsets. But some scientists now think they have the answer. This, they say, is an unbreakable phone screen. The key ingredient, a combination of small amounts of silver with graphene, a new so called wonder material.
>> So indium tin oxide, the material that's used in phone screens at the moment is very brittle. And as a result it has to be supported on a glass surface to prevent it from cracking. And obviously, as we all know, glass is very hard and very brittle as well.
So this is what leads to the problem with cracking a phone screen when you drop them. So what we've done, our development is to use silver nanowires and graphene in combination instead of indium tin oxide. And what this facilitates is us being able to do away with that glass supporting layout.
And we can now move toward something which is plastic, which is obviously much more flexible, much more robust.>> The scientists at Britain's Sussex University say, this new way of producing this sturdy smartphone screens is also cheaper and more environmentally friendly. NDM is a rare metal and is very damaging to extract.
Silver is a better, but a more expensive alternative. To bring down production costs, smartphone makers currently use silver nanowires. But scientists say that graphene will be able to drive down costs even further. It's the first ever man-made material in two dimensions. It's the finest material ever created, yet incredibly strong.
It conducts electricity as copper and outperforms all other materials as a heat conductor. Now, commercial partners want to upscale the technology before launching the product. Manufacturing graphene and industrial quantities remains the hardest part to crack.