“The touchscreen display industry has already picked up these materials for the next-generation flexible displays, such as e-paper, and large-area touchscreens up to 85 inches in size,” Sansoz said. “There are also new promising industrial applications enabled by this technology for flexible solar cells in energy harvesting, and room-temperature welding of microelectronics components.”
Further down the line, the nanowires -- which are anti-bacterial -- could be used in applications for integrated bio-sensors binding to biological tissue in medicine, he added.
Researchers plan to continue their work to study the mechanical behavior of networks of silver nanowires with the same diameter, as well as how the conclusions of their study can be applicable to different types of metals, Sansoz said.
“It also would be interesting to study the effect of nanowire size on other physical properties, such as electrical or thermal conductivity,” he said.
Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 15 years. She currently resides in a village on the southwest coast of Portugal.