New ‘miracle material’ could lead to unbreakable smartphones


A team of British researchers have created a “miracle material” that will bring an end to “the misery of cracked smartphone screens”.

The material which could potentially lead to mobile phones being lighter as well as tougher has been developed by a team from Belfast’s Queens University.

Working in conjunction with colleagues from Stanford University, the University of California and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, they have combined several chemicals and elements including graphene to develop a material believed to be 200 times stronger than steel.

The material also uses a carbon molecule called C60 that may one day allow phones to be solar powered.

Smartphones are currently made from silicone which is both expensive and fragile.

Dr Elton Santos of the university’s school of mathematics and physics said: “Our findings show that this new ‘miracle material’ has similar physical properties to silicon but it has improved chemical stability, lightness and flexibility, which could potentially be used in smart devices and would be much less likely to break.

“The material also could mean that devices use less energy than before because of the device architecture so could have improved battery life and less electric shocks.

“By bringing together scientists from across the globe with expertise in chemistry, physics and materials science we were able to work together and use simulations to predict how all of the materials could function when combined – and ultimately how these could work to help solve everyday problems.

“This cutting-edge research is timely and a hot-topic involving key players in the field, which opens a clear international pathway to put Queen’s on the roadmap of further outstanding investigations.”



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