Transparent Electronic Ink has been developed by InkTec of Korea with two billion Won investment and two years of R&D effort. It is characterized by relatively lower production cost, higher stability without particle structure and adjustable coated film thickness comparing to the existing nano ink and paste inks, claims the company.
The "Soluble Silver Cluster & Complex" technique is responsible, giving exceptional stability and transparency, since it is not formulated in particles. It is acceptable for heat sensitive materials such as PET and paper with sintering at under 130ºC. It is considered suitable for RFID tag antennas, FPCB, displays (LCD, PDP, OLED), reflective film, antimicrobial film and EMI Shielding.
Another advantage is that it is practicable not only for inkjet but also for development of mass production customized ink suitable for different types of printing such as off-set, flexo, gravure and rotary screen printing. Indeed, it can produce a thin film less than 1 micron with Roll-to-Roll printing technology including rotary screen and gravure printing.
In March 2007, there were 16 patent pending cases (patent granted for 4 cases) in electronic ink domestically, 3 cases for PCT and 8 cases for overseas.
Figure Left to right: Transparent Ink, Gravure Printing Ink, Nano Silver Paste
Currently, the last phase of testing is taking place prior to commercialization after NDA agreement with related companies. In the case of high intensity lamp reflective film, initial sales were achieved last year. Commercialization is now in progress for RFID. InkTec's RFID Tag Antenna is expected to contribute considerably to low-cost production of RFID tags. Raw material cost of less than the half that of existing nano inks is cited.
After the construction of the second plant in Poseung Industrial Area, located in Pyeongtaek-Si, GyeongGi-Do, Korea was completed in April 2006, InkTec produced prototype RFID tag antennas after implementation of its "Production Type 1" with 350mm widths -the performance tests of the antennas are ongoing.
Printing optimization is making rapid progress after the implementation of 900mm and 1600mm width production lines in March 2007. Roll-to-roll printing including rotary screen printing and gravure printing is available through this production line.
The annual production capacity of RFID tag antennas will be between 700 million and 1 billion (working for 16hr./1day). This means 170,000m2 to 2,500,000m2 depending on antenna size.
Source top image: InkTec