The Conductive Polymers Division of Heraeus Precious Metals GmbH & Co. KG, and Eastman Kodak Company's Industrial Materials Group today jointly announced a milestone in the development of transparent conductive films that can be easily patterned to provide a cost-effective alternative to Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) films.
The companies announced they have demonstrated patterning Kodak HCF-225 Film/ESTAR™ Base utilizing Heraeus technologies such as Clevios™ Etch and masking polymer Clevios™ SET G - or an equivalent set of photo-resist materials available from Orthogonal, Inc - to yield completely invisible conductive patterns for a variety of touch screen applications.
Kodak and Heraeus also announced they commissioned GSI Technologies, LLC, to construct a resistive touch screen demonstrator that will be on display at the Heraeus show stand at the IDTechEX Printed Electronics USA 2011 Conference and Tradeshow, Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, 2011, at the Santa Clara, CA Convention Center (Heraeus Booth #H115).
The 14" touch screen panel was fabricated using Kodak HCF-225 Film/ESTAR™ Base and the Clevios™ PEDOT:PSS coating with a surface resistivity of 225 ohms/sq. It was built using conventional printing processes, including UV-cured and heat processed inks.
The polymer-based touch screen system provides superior touch performance, flexibility, stability, a high level of transparency, neutral color and low haze - all at an economic price as a working alternative to ITO.
Mark Juba, General Manager, Industrial Materials Group, Eastman Kodak Company, said "The combination of Kodak's high quality conductive films and large scale coating process capabilities, combined with Heraeus Clevios™ PEDOT:PSS advanced formulations and patterning techniques, offers breakthrough capabilities for touch screen applications."
"This new technology opens the door to the production of a new generation of touch screens built for electronic devices using high volume web coating manufacturing processes at an economic price, when compared with the sputtering required in the manufacture of ITO films," Juba said.
In a NanoMarkets 2011 "Transparent Conductor Markets Report," it is predicted that the overall market for transparent conductor technologies will reach $6.9 billion by 2016. The report said new technologies such as the one demonstrated today are expected to capture up to 20% of this market from ITO based systems.
"In the near future we will see touch screens in almost every electronic device," said Dr. Stephan Kirchmeyer, Head of the Functional Coatings Business Unit from the Heraeus Conductive Polymers Division. "This growth will require a touch screen technology that is both more advanced and more economical. With the new highly conductive Clevios™ technology we have taken a big step forward."
"The market can now access a complete system that provides patterned transparent conductive films with enhanced performance at lower cost compared with current material sets and processes," Dr. Kirchmeyer said.