Researchers at the University of Houston has discovered a transparent conductor that can be stretched or folded and released. This will result in a significant strain on the material which will bend at least 10,000 times more without signs of fatigue observed. The experiment has paired gold nanomesh with a substrate made of polydimethylsilloxane which is stretchable. The substrate has been stretched before the gold nanomesh and showed no sign of fatigue when it was stretched to a strain more than 50%.
The strain that leads to fatigue and breakdown with these materials is a very common problem that has led researchers to begin development of a transparent and flexible conductor. This in turn will allow the material to have good electrical conductivity, transparency, flexibility and will not wear out fast. This discovery is an important step to developing a new generation of foldable electronics that may one day be available in the future.