Good news for people who smash their smart phones

New material discovered could bring an end to cracked phone screens

There is good news if you’re someone who perpetually has to strain your eyes to peer in between the cracks of the shattered screen of your smart phone.

A Queen’s University researcher has led an international team of scientists to the discovery of a new material, which could finally bring an end to the misery of cracked smart phone and tablet screens.

Currently, most parts of a smart phone are made of silicon and other compounds, which are expensive and break easily, but manufacturers may be keen on something more durable and less costly.

Dr Elton Santos has been working with a team of scientists to create new dynamic hybrid devices that are able to conduct electricity at unprecedented speeds, we well as being light, durable and easy to manufacture in large scale semiconductor plants.


“Our findings show that this new ‘miracle material’ has similar physical properties to silicon but it has improved chemical stability, lightness and flexibility, which could potentially be used in smart devices and would be much less likely to break,” he said.

“The material also could mean that devices use less energy than before because of the device architecture so could have improved battery life and less electric shocks.

“By bringing together scientists from across the globe with expertise in chemistry, physics and materials science, we were able to work together and use simulations to predict how all of the materials could function when combined.”

Dr Santos said it was this combination which could ultimately help solve every day problems.

“This cutting-edge research is timely and a hot-topic involving key players in the field, which opens a clear international pathway to put Queen’s on the road-map of further outstanding investigations,” he said.

Of course, the next challenge will be to convince manufacturers that the product is cost effective and won’t harm their bottom lines.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter