Researchers at the University of Exeter claim to have invented the "most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity."
The new material is call GraphExeter and is based on two graphene layers with ferric chloride molecules between them. According to the research report, ferric chloride greatly improves the electrical conductivity of graphene, but do not affect its transparency.
The inventors believe that their GraphExeter is more flexible than indium tin oxide (ITO), which is the primary conductive material used in electronics today. Due to its transparent and flexible characteristics, GraphExeter could be used in a wide variety of electronic devices including traditional products such as computers, phones and solar panels, but also in wearable electronics such as digital t-shirts and even "smart mirrors".
According to scientists, GraphExeter is the first true alternative for ITO, which they expect to run out of supply by 2017. The research group is currently developing a spray-on version of GraphExeter, which could be applied straight onto fabrics, mirrors and windows. There was no information when the material could become commercially available.