We're coming just that much closer to electronic devices such as TV screens that can be rolled up in a tube, or phones that can be folded up and stuffed in a pocket. Scientists at the University of Houston have created a gold nanomesh material that is conductive, transparent and flexible – a combination that they claim has never before been achieved.

The material, a mesh of interconnected gold nanowires, is embedded on a transparent elastomer and could act as a conductor. Nanomeshes of silver and copper wires have been made previously, although they oxidized much more easily than the gold, causing a significant drop in their conductivity.

In stretch tests of the new material, even when subjected to a strain of 160 percent, its electrical resistance rose only slightly. After the strain was removed, the resistance returned to normal.

The gold nanomesh was created by physicist Zhifeng Ren, working with research associates Chuanfei Guo and Tianyi Sun, and two colleagues at Harvard University. A paper on the research was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: University of Houston