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Posted: Jul 25, 2011
Cambrios and Hitachi Chemical Collaborate on Development and Production of Patternable, Transferable Transparent Conductive Film
(Nanowerk News) Cambrios Technologies Corporation announced today that the company's ClearOhm™ silver nanowire coating materials have been combined with Hitachi Chemical's photosensitive film technology to develop an innovative, very highly transparent conductive film that can be transferred to various substrates such as glass, polycarbonate and PET film. Hitachi Chemical plans to begin production of the film later this year with the aim of producing significant volumes by mid 2012 to meet the increasing demand for transparent conductive films for touch panels for smart phones and tablet PCs.
The flexible film will be available in a wide range of conductivities with sheet resistance of 10-250 Ohm/sq. and total transmission, including substrate, of 85-91 percent. High resolution patterns can be made using a simple light exposure and develop process, eliminating costly process steps such as applying resist, etching, and stripping. The film may be used to create highly flexible and invisible patterns applicable to standard projective capacitive touch panels as well as emerging designs on curved and 3D surfaces.
"Hitachi Chemical has been a great partner with tremendous market foresight," said Cambrios CEO, Dr. Michael R. Knapp. "Indium tin oxide (ITO) has been the prevailing transparent conductive film used in touch screen applications for quite some time, but it requires an expensive and cumbersome sputtering deposition process. Hitachi Chemical's film allows for an easy-to-use transfer process that is standard for other electronic materials such as photoresist. Cambrios ClearOhm™ material is wet-processed and Hitachi Chemical saw the potential for it to help create an easy to use, highly innovative product for this market."
Cambrios ClearOhm™ material offers simpler patterning, less expensive deposition options and, because of its flexibility, can improve yield by comparison to ITO. Hitachi Chemical's transferable transparent conductive film is available in roll form so it is suitable for roll-to-roll processes and users can create transparent electrode patterns using only a simplified photolithography process. Manufacturers can consistently achieve better transmission and resistance balance than is possible with ITO.
The product will also give manufacturers a greener, more environmentally friendly option to the patterning process for ITO film by eliminating the cost and waste associated with the use of chemicals such as photoresist, etchant, and stripper. Cambrios and Hitachi Chemical see potential for applications of this product in markets beyond smart phones and tablet PCs in devices such as OLEDs, e-paper displays and photovoltaics.
Cambrios is an electronic materials company that develops proprietary, competitive products using nanotechnology. Cambrios implements its novel technology to simplify electronics manufacturing processes, improve end-product performance and identify ways to satisfy unmet industry needs. The company's first product is ClearOhm™ coating material that produces a transparent, conductive film by wet processing. ClearOhm™ films have improved properties by comparison to currently used materials such as indium tin oxide and other transparent conductive oxides. Applications of ClearOhm™ coating material include transparent electrodes for touch screens, liquid crystal displays, e-paper, OLED devices, and thin film photovoltaics.