These new touch screens could come hot off the presses using the same machinery that prints newspapers.
Cheap, flexible, silver and gold touch screens could be "immediately" available for consumer electronic devices.
Since it is made on thin plastic, the screen would also be more durable than its glass counterparts.
The screens can be produced with the same machinery that prints newspapers.
Cheap, flexible touch screens made with silver and gold nanowires could soon be rolling off the presses and into cell phones, computers and more. The same technology could even be used in solar panels.
Writing in the journal ACS Nano, scientists from Stanford University say the new technology could be "immediately" used in consumer electronics.
"It's a roll-to-roll process, just like printing newspapers," said Yu Cui, a scientist at Stanford University and co-author of the paper. "It's extremely fast and can be done at a very low cost."
Today, most touch screens and solar panels are glass-based. The hard, insulating glass helps protect and support the thin coating of electrically conductive metals. But glass is also brittle and heavy. When an object strikes a solar panel, or a person drops a cell phone, the glass can shatter.