Wow, science and tech, huh? They never cease to amaze. You know, researchers are now toying with the idea of using transparent wood for phone screens. Yeah, you heard it right, wood! It’s tougher and lighter than the glass we’re used to. And get this, it can bend without breaking into sharp shards. Instead, it crumbles into tiny bits. Plus, it’s cheap to mass produce. It’s still in its infancy, but transparent wood could be the future of phone screens.
Transparent wood for phone screens, the future? Maybe.
Lars Berglund, a guy from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, decided to team up with some researchers at the University of Maryland. They wanted to explore this whole transparent wood thing. After many trials, they found that it could be used in many areas, not just for screens.
This special wood, it’s not just for phones or computers. It’s thin and clear, perfect for screens. But it could also be used for windows. But, it wouldn’t be completely clear like the windows we’re used to. It might look more like frosted glass. Some of these windows could even switch from clear to tinted.
The researchers also found that thin sheets of this see-through wood let 80% to 90% of light pass through. But, as the sheet gets thicker, less light gets through. Also, tests showed that this wood is three times tougher than Plexiglass and a whopping 10 times tougher than regular glass.
How are scientists making the wood transparent? Good question.
This question got me thinking too. So, there’s a part of wood called lignin that makes it strong and gives it that brown color. Scientists figured out that by changing or removing this lignin and adding something called epoxy resin, they can make the wood clear.
But, there’s a small catch. Right now, the stuff used to make wood clear, this epoxy resin, isn’t very eco-friendly because it comes from petroleum. However, scientists are already looking for better and greener ways to make this, like using things from citrus fruits.