Copper Nanowire: A Lucrative Technology for Touch Screen, LED and Solar Cell

Copper Wire

New research has unveiled that the copper nanowires can be used to compose screens of cell phones, e-readers, and iPads. These nanostructures will reduce the cost of manufacturing electric displays. Hence, they will bring an era of fold-able electronics as well as improvise solar cells.

Ben Wiley, a duke chemist, and his graduate student have discovered a new technique to arrange copper atoms in water to form long non-clumped nanowires. These wires are transformed into transparent, conductive films and coated onto glass or plastic.

According to the studies, the copper nanowire films have the same characteristics as those found in electronic devices and solar cells and are cost-effective.

The films that connect pixels in electronic screens are manufactured from Indium Tin Oxide (or ITO). One significant benefit of these films is that they are incredibly transparent and transmit information in advance. However, the manufacturing process of such cinema is lengthy as well, costly.

Wiley said, “Ever-increasing problems have driven others to look for alternatives where one doesn’t require extra effort for manufacturing as well the transparent conducting films can be easily available at a reasonable cost”.

Many experts believe that inks coated silver nanowires can be another alternative to ITO film. In forthcoming months, the first cell phone with a screen made up of silver nanowires will be available in the market. However, it is costly at $1400 per kilogram.

Copper, an abundant element, is readily available in the earth 100 times cheaper than indium (or silver). Silver costs around $9 per Kilogram.

Wiley and his graduate student Aaron Rathmell proved that it is possible to form a layer of copper nanowires on the glass. This has paved a new way in the manufacturing of a transparent conducting film.

The film couldn’t perform well for the first time because the wires used to clump together. However, Wiley said a new method of growing the copper nanowires and coating them on glass surfaces had reduced the clumping problem.

Advantages such as the low-cost, high-performance, and flexibility of copper nanowires make them an ideal choice for the next-generation displays and solar cells.

Wisely said, “he had co-founded a company known as the NanoForge Corp. in 2010 that manufactures copper nanowires for commercial applications”.

NanoForge received a grant of $45,000 from North Carolina IDEA for refinement and scale-up of the manufacturing process of copper nanowires in 2011. The company is gradually taking steps to fulfil the requirements. In the upcoming years, solar energy will become a bit advanced and more compatible and cost-effective.

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