In the process of developing a new kind of plastic, researchers have come up with a new type of titanium sheet metal which they claim will offer better strength and durability than steel.
It’s the result of years of research by a team led by Prof Kavita Vardhan at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, which includes senior members from the IIT Madras Institute of Science.
The metal is made up of three layers: a carbon-based layer that acts as an electrode and a silicon-based electrode that acts like a cathode.
A thin film of silicon is sandwiched between the carbon- and silicon-containing layers.
It is a type of graphene that is extremely strong.
In the past, the most promising applications for this material have been in flexible electronics, such as displays, touch screens and printers, but they have not yet been commercially available.
But now the researchers have taken the first steps to commercialise this material.
“In the future, we would like to develop a new class of metal that has superior properties,” said Prof Vardham.
“We are trying to create a material that has a very high electrical conductivity and a very low temperature.”
We hope to develop this material as a material for use in the manufacture of thin films of graphene and other types of carbon-carbon composite materials,” she added.
Prof Vardhaan is also a member of the IETF – the Indian Physical Institute.
She told IANS that she hopes the material will help us make devices that are much more durable and flexible.”
These are really the most exciting things we are developing.
The material is extremely versatile and we have made great strides in making it better than other materials in this class.
“It is a material with many of the properties we are looking for in a new and very promising class of materials,” said Dr Vardhans senior lecturer, Professor Murali Sharma.
“Graphene is the most abundant metal in the universe, and its use in electronic devices is a big challenge for us.
We are excited about its potential and have been working for years to develop it,” she said.
The material has been developed under a collaboration between IIT-M Madras and IIT Bombay, and the team has also worked with several research institutions in India.
They are aiming to commercialize the material in the next two to three years.