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An international team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University say that they have developed an ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current, while also being cheaper and simpler to produce than current materials.

The film, which is actually a mat of tangled nanofiber that is electroplated to form a “self-junctioned copper nano-chicken wire,” is also bendable and stretchable. These qualities, they explain, make it an ideal material for potential applications in wearable electronics and electronic skin.

The new film establishes a “world-record combination of high transparency and low electrical resistance,” the latter at least 10-fold greater than the previous existing record, said Sam Yoon, a professor of mechanical engineering at Korea University. In addition, the film retains its properties after repeated cycles of severe stretching or bending.

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