This is an interesting use of nanotech because it looks like it might be market-ready much sooner than later, and as team member Benjamin Wiley puts it, “If we are going to have these ubiquitous electronics and solar cells we need to use materials that are abundant in the earth’s crust and don’t take much energy to extract.”
Also from the link:
A team of Duke University chemists has perfected a simple way to make tiny copper nanowires in quantity. The cheap conductors are small enough to be transparent, making them ideal for thin-film solar cells, flat-screen TVs and computers, and flexible displays.
“Imagine a foldable iPad,” said Benjamin Wiley, an assistant professor of chemistry at Duke. His team reports its findings online this week in Advanced Materials.
Nanowires made of copper perform better than carbon nanotubes, and are much cheaper than silver nanowires, Wiley said