Touchscreens are in – although the technology still has its price. The little screens contain rare and expensive elements. This is the reason why researchers at Fraunhofer are coming up with an alternative display made of low-priced renewable raw materials available all over the world. Its main components are carbon nanotubes and low-cost polymers. The new electrode foil is composed of two layers. One is the carrier, a thin foil made of inexpensive polyethylenterephthalate PET used for making plastic bottles. Then a mixture of carbon-nanotubes and electrically conducting polymers is added that is applied to the PET as a solution and forms a thin film when it dries.
There are a whole series of implementations for the new technology. This foil is flexible and can be used in a variety of ways. Ivica Kolaric, project manager from Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, sums up by saying "we could even make photovoltaic foils out of it to line corrugated roofs or other uneven structures." The researcher has already set up pilot production where the foil can be enhanced for a wide range of applications.