Researchers use laminated materials to significantly improve the light transmission of conductive plastics

According tomedia reports, because of the traditional plastic conductivity is very poor, so they are often used for insulation, which makes it a shielding material for materials such as wires and circuit boards. But scientists have been hoping to change that by adding other materials, which give plastics electrical conductivity. Now, a team of researchers has come up with a promising possibility of using it for large touch screens or solar cells that can be mounted on windows.

Researchers use laminated materials to significantly improve the light transmission of conductive plastics

The new material is understood to have been developed by electrical and computer engineers at the University of Michigan based on early work in the field. The team has previously demonstrated how to add a very fine layer of silver to the plastic plate to make it conductive, but this can take some cost, reducing the light transmission by about 10%.

One way to improve the transparency of plastics is to apply anti-reflective coatings, which are usually not conductive. In response, the researchers believe they may have solved the problem by carefully mixing metals with multilayer materials.

It is understood that they create transparent conductive plastic consists of a very fine layer of silver and plastic, in addition to the plastic layer also contains a small amount of copper, thickness of only 6.5 nanometers. The conductive layer is sandwiched between two “dielectric” materials, one alumina and the other zinc oxide.

Researchers use laminated materials to significantly improve the light transmission of conductive plastics

Because these materials can effectively allow light to pass through the material, the light transmission rate of light is higher than that of plastic only, the former reached 88.4%, the latter is 88.1%.

Researchers use laminated materials to significantly improve the light transmission of conductive plastics

“We have developed a way to make coatings highly transparent, conductive, low fog, superior flexibility, easy to make and have a good compatibility with different surfaces,” said Jay Guo, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science who led the study.

Next, the team will explore how to use this material as a transparent conductor for solar cells.

The study has been published in Nature Communications.