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Copper-nickel nanowires from Duke University could make ubiquitous printable circuits


Nanowires, although they're building steam, still have to overcome the not-so-small problem of cost -- they often have to use indium tin oxide that's not just expensive, but fragile. Duke University has developed copper-nanowire films that could remedy this in style. The choice of material is both a hundred times less expensive to make than indium and is much more durable. It's flexible, too: if layered on as a coating, the nanowires would make for considerably more viable wearable electronics that won't snap under heavy stress. The catch, as you might suspect, stems from the copper itself, which doesn't conduct as much electricity as indium. The nickel will keep your copper electronics from oxidizing faster than the Statue of Liberty, however. Any practical use could be years away, but further successes from Duke could quickly see printable electronics hit the mainstream power and power our dreams of flexible displays.

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