Science briefs: A conductor to flex and see through

  • Updated: February 15, 2014 - 5:12 PM

University of Houston researchers say they have developed an electrical conductor that is both highly flexible and transparent, an elusive combination that could help usher in an age of flexible flat-screen TVs and smartphones and new options for medical devices. The conductor consists of gold nanomesh electrodes, essentially a network of tightly interconnected, very small gold wires, said the study published online by Nature Communications. The material is thin enough to achieve “ultrahigh stretchability” — resistance increases only slightly, even at a strain of 160 percent — and porous enough to let light through. Zhifeng Ren, a University of Houston physicist, said the conductor would need to be built and tested at larger sizes.