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Printed Electronics World
Posted on September 21, 2004 by  & 

Wanted! A Transparent Flexible Conductor

ITO and ATO not adequate

As covered in previous articles of Printed Electronic Review, there is a great market potential for flexible displays which are much more robust than rigid ones and therefore suitable for notebooks, mobile phone screens etc, but also enabling new markets.
 
However, some materials are not keeping up. Currently Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is used as the clear, highly conductive coating for the electrodes on the display side of screens - being transparent is therefore a must. Unfortunately it is also a material that is not always readily available, being subject to shortages every five years or so. Worse still, it is fine on glass but on a flexible substrate it can crack under about 1% strain, destroying parts of the display.
 
What is needed is a highly conductive transparent material (not at all an easy feat) which can be printed and flexed.
 
Let us know if your working on such a material or alternative to ITO and we'll feature it here.
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