Researchers at University of Exeter claim to have discovered the world's most lightweight, transparent and flexible material capable of conducting electricity. Named as GraphExeter (the later part of the name based on University's name itself) the discovery comes as a major breakthrough as indium tin oxide (ITO), which is currently used in manufacturing flexible displays is going to get extinct from earth's surface in coming few years. Scientist had been looking for an alternative and all the focus turned to graphene, being the most flexible and strongest of all transparent materials. Notably, it is also the thinnest among them all with its sheet being just one atom thick. Prior to this resin electrodes have also been used to replace ITO-based displays.
There is a inherent disadvantage to using graphene though, which is its sheet resistance to electric current. Scientists countered this by embedding ferric chloride molecules between the two layers of graphene. Ferric Chloride increases the conductivity of graphene without affecting its transparency. The discovery could be deployed to revolutionize the displays our gadgets board.
It could be used to manufacture "smart" clothing, mirrors, or windows that could be equipped with interactive features. It could help make solar panels 30% more efficient thanks to it being transparent over a wide spectrum of light. The remaining challenge is to make it more viable for industries so that they could adopt and mass manufacture GraphExeter-based materials.