Eindhoven, Netherlands (SPX) Apr 13, 2011
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, Netherlands) have developed a replacement for indium tin oxide (ITO), an important material used in displays for all kinds of everyday products such as TVs, telephones and laptops, as well as in solar cells. Unfortunately indium is a rare metal, and the available supplies are expected to be virtually exhausted within as little as ten years.
The replacement material is a transparent, conducting film produced in water, and based on electrically conducting carbon nanotubes and plastic nanoparticles. It is made of commonly available materials, and on top of that is also environment-friendly.
The results, which also provide new insights into conduction in complex composite materials, were published online yesterday 10 April by the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.
The research team has been able to achieve higher conductivity by combining low concentrations of carbon nanotubes and conducting latex in a low-cost polystyrene film. The nanotubes and the latex together account for less than 1 percent of the weight of the conducting film.
That is important, because a high concentration of carbon nanotubes makes the film black and opaque, so the concentration needs to be kept as low as possible. The research team was led by theoretical physicist Paul van der Schoot and polymer chemist Cor Koning. Post-doc Andriy Kyrylyuk is the first author of the paper in Nature Nanotechnology.
The researchers use standard, widely available nanotubes which they dissolve in water. Then they add conducting latex (a solution of polymer beads in water), together with a binder in the form of polystyrene beads. When the mixture is heated, the polystyrene beads fuse together to form the film, which contains a conducting network of nanotubes and beads from the conducting latex.
The water, which only serves as a dispersing agent in production, is removed by freeze-drying. The 'formula' is not a question of good luck, as the researchers first calculated the expected effects and also understand how the increased conductivity works.
The conductivity of the transparent e film is still a factor 100 lower than that of indium tin oxide. But Van der Schoot and Koning expect that the gap can quickly be closed. "We used standard carbon nanotubes, a mixture of metallic conducting and semiconducting tubes", says Cor Koning. "But as soon as you start to use 100 percent metallic tubes, the conductivity increases greatly.
The production technology for 100 percent metallic tubes has just been developed, and we expect the price to fall rapidly." However the conductivity of the film is already good enough to be used immediately as an antistatic layer for displays, or for EMI shielding to protect devices and their surroundings against electromagnetic radiation.
The film has an important advantage over ITO: it is environment-friendly. All the materials are water based, and no heavy metals such as tin are used. The new film is also a good material for flexible displays.
The researchers themselves are very positive about the diversity of their team, which they believe made an important contribution to the results.
"We had a unique combination of theoreticians, modeling specialists and people to do practical experiments", says Paul van der Schoot. "Without that combination we wouldn't have succeeded."
The paper ''Controlling Electrical Percolation in Multi-Component Carbon Nanotube Dispersions' was published yesterday, Sunday 10 april, on the website of the journal Nature Nanotechnology (DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2011.40). The research forms part of the Functional Polymer Systems research program at the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI), which provided financial support for this project. Prof. Cor Koning is with the Polymer Chemistry group (Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry) and prof. Paul van der Schoot is with the Theory of Polymers and Soft Matter group (Department of Applied Physics) of Eindhoven University of Technology. The other authors of the article are Andriy Kyrylyuk (first author), Marie Claire Hermant, Tanja Schilling and Bert Klumperman.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Eindhoven University of Technology
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
Can Plants Generate Magnetic Fields
Berkeley CA (SPX) Apr 11, 2011
Searching for magnetic fields produced by plants may sound as wacky as trying to prove the existence of telekinesis or extrasensory perception, but physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, are seriously looking for biomagnetism in plants using some of the most sensitive magnetic detectors available. In an article that appeared this week in the Journal of Applied Physics, the U ... read more
Researchers Find Replacement For Rare Material Indium Tin Oxide|
Kindle e-reader cheaper with on-screen ads
Winklevoss twins lose Facebook appeal
Apple's iPad to remain top tablet in 2015: Gartner
Preparations Underway As US Army Gears Up For Large-Scale Network Evaluations
Global Military Communications Market In 2010
Raytheon BBN Technologies To Protect Internet Comms For Military Abroad
Gilat Announces New Military Modem For Robust Tactical Satcom-On-The-Move
Arianespace Flight VA201: Interruption Of The Countdown
Russia Looks To Grab Half Of World Space Launch Market
Mitsubishi Electric's ST-2 Satellite Arrives In French Guiana
Jugnu Set To Go Into Space In June
GPS to protect Bulgarian locomotives from fuel thefts
Make Your Satnav Idea A Reality
GPS Study Shows Wolves More Reliant On A Cattle Diet
Galileo Labs: Better Positioning With Concept
S. Korea preferred bid for Indonesian jet contract
Chinese airlines sign deal to buy 35 Embraer jets
Google's $700 million ITA buy cleared with conditions
Google, Justice Department near deal on ITA: WSJ
Technique For Letting Brain Talk To Computers Now Tunes In Speech
Japan's stalled chip sector 'to cost $470bn'
Control The Cursor With Power Of Thought
Self-Cooling Observed In Graphene Electronics
Arctic Ice Gets A Check Up
3-D map of Philippines to help combat disasters
For NASA's Aquarius, Quest For Salt A Global Endeavor
First Consistent Geological Interpretation Of East Africa Rift System
High Levels Of Toxic Compounds Found On Coasts Of West Africa
EU declares war on plastic litter in Mediterranean
Study reveals cost of nitrogen pollution
Danube Will Solve Hungary's Environmental Disaster
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|