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Scientists at the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and Monash University, Australia, have used lithium to make a graphite sheet transparent and highly conductive. This new material shows promise for applications in solar cells, flexible displays and touchscreens.

Natural materials are designed in a way that there is nearly always a tradeoff between transparency and conductivity,” explains Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) graduate student Jiayu Wan, a member of MSE assistant professor Liangbing Hu’s research group. “For example, metals are very conductive but not transparent, while plastics can be transparent but are not very conductive.”

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