Phones that unfold to become tablets and big screen televisions you can roll up to transport could soon be in shops thanks to a “golden mesh” developed by US researchers.

The University of Houston team said they had created the first screen technology that could make the gadgets happen.

They said the new stretchable material could also be used in medical implants. Although phone manufacturers have built prototypes of bendable screens, none have so far been flexible enough to simply be folded up.

The University of Houston researchers have developed an entirely new stretchable and transparent electrical conductor.

The gold nanomesh electrodes produced by physicist Zhifeng Ren and his research associates Chuanfei Guo and Tianyi Sun at the University of Houston, along with two colleagues at Harvard University, provided good electrical conductivity as well as transparency and flexibility, the researchers said in a paper in Nature Communications.

The material also had potential applications for biomedical devices, said Ren, the lead author on the paper.

“This is very useful to the field of foldable electronics,” Guo said. “It is much more transportable.”

The nanomesh, a network of fully interconnected gold nanowires, had good electrical conductivity and transparency, and had “ultrahigh stretchability”, they said. – Daily Mail