O-film Tech Co Ltd., the largest touch panel manufacturer in China and currently ranked No. 2 globally, last Thursday officially announced the start of high volume production of touch panels based on metal mesh transparent conductive films (TCFs), initially at the capacity of 1.5million panels per month which will increase depending on the market response. The technology, which is unique in the way the metal mesh is constructed, was initially developed in 2011 at the Suzhou NanoGrid Technology Ltd., a startup in Suzhou industrial park, and subsequently transferred to O-film where the mass manufacturing processes were developed.
Different from other metal mesh TCFs, the O-film technology produces much finer mesh lines (<5µm) and can achieve high conductivity without sacrificing transparency. With extremely low sheet resistance (<1Ωper square) and very high transparency (>90%), the metal mesh TCFs have great advantages over ITO-based TCFs in terms of conductivity and flexibility, particularly for medium and large size displays. The fabrication process is much simple and can be integrated into roll-to-roll manufacturing line, which gives the technology a great cost advantage over ITO and other type of non-ITO TCFs. Since O-film started to implement the technology for touch panels, it has drawn wide attention in the global mobile and PC manufacturer community. The world top 6 PC manufacturers are all working with O-film to test the new touch panel technology. O-film has so far made test samples for more 60 models of tablets and PC monitors and passed the end users' stringent verifications. Early this year, the company has started delivering touch panels in quantity for PC and mobile manufacturers in China, such as Lenovo. While the manufacturing capacity is building up, O-film is now teaming up with researchers from the Printable Electronics Research Center at the Suzhou Institute of Nanotech, China, to refine the technology. The company aims to develop various metal mesh structures and process technologies, eventually covering panel sizes from 5 to 65 inches for wide spectrum of display applications.
Source: O-film Tech Co Ltd
Top image shows: 24 inch monitor integrated with O-film metal mesh touch panel