Technology 3 min read

New Approach Could Lower the Cost of Transparent LED Screens

Chinese researchers have developed transparent LED screens using silver nanowire networks, making its production a whole lot cheaper.

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A new approach could potentially lower the cost and increase the flexibility of transparent LED screens.

By connecting LEDs with transparent conductive circuits, individuals have been able to turn mere glass windows or walls into see-through displays. That way, they could entertain viewers with images and videos.

You may have noticed these transparent LED screens in retail store windows, stadiums, arenas, car showrooms, etc.

Speaking about how useful this display tech is, Liu Yang of Zhejiang University said:

“Transparent LED screens act much like traditional LCDs or LED televisions, but the fact that they don’t block light enables creative applications not possible with conventional display technology.”

As useful as transparent LED screens are, it has never been cost-friendly to produce. That’s because the transparent conductive circuits are usually made from fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) or Indium Tin Oxide.

Not only do these materials make for a complicated and expensive manufacturing process, but they don’t produce the best result too. According to the researchers, circuits made from ITO and FTO are usually too brittle for flexible applications.

However, a recent article in The Optical Society journal Optical Material Express suggests a cheaper approach to making transparent LED screens.

Cost-Friendly Transparent LED Screens from Silver Nanowire Networks

The researchers suggested using silver nanowire networks to develop the circuits. Unlike ITO or FTO, silver nanowires are easy to synthesize and distribute over a large area.

Also, they have impressive optical transparency and are highly conductive.

Finally, transparent LED screens that are made from silver nanowire networks are flexible. That means they can bend without breaking or experiencing a decline in performance.

While using a silver nanowire network to make long circuits have been challenging in the past, the team created a new fabrication process. It involves using spray coating methods and sacrificial masks to develop a 1.2-meter silver nanowire transparent conductive circuit.

Next, the team tested the silver nanowire transparent conductive circuits to assess how it would perform under various conditions. Not only did it show mechanical flexibility, but the silver nanowire strip was also stable under the bending test.

Yang concluded:

“The circuits we fabricated are highly transparent, conductive and flexible, and thus are very promising as a replacement for transparent circuits used today.”

In the future, this novel method can help create smart screens for glass architecture and display videos in public places.

Read More: New Screen Technology Doubles the Energy Efficiency of Smartphones

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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