Future Touch Technologies Developed and Optimized by Heraeus and ITRI, Taiwan
(Nanowerk News) Advanced electronic materials play a key role in touch panel technologies, such as projective capacitive touch screens (PCTs). Equally application know-how plays a vital part in the success of the new material to be used in device manufacture. Together the organizations achieved the transfer from “Lab to Fab“showing that touch panels using Clevios™ PEDOT:PSS as the electrode can economically be produced.
Optimizing the Process
In a joint project between Heraeus and the Electrical and Optical Laboratories of ITRI a set of 3.5 inch GF1 type touch sensors were built. The work successfully combined Heraeus materials knowledge with ITRI’s strength to develop mass production processes.
The touch sensors were based on a Clevios™ coated transparent conductive PET with a surface resistance of 150 Ohm per sq. The experts at ITRI subsequently patterned the film using Heraeus invisible etch technology which employs Clevios™ SET S, a printable mask. In this initial project between Heraeus and ITRI, the wet chemical patterning process was optimized to meet the required layout, alignment and design. The project has provided the confirmation that fully functioning non-metallic touch panels are ready to be scaled up to production volumes.
Heraeus has been collaborating with ITRI since Q4, 2013. “With ITRI, we have found a partner to help us shape and design touch technologies from start to finish,” says Dr. Kirchmeyer, Global Technical Director for the Display & Semiconductor Business at Heraeus. Dr. C.T. Liu, Vice President and General Director at ITRI added,” The co-operation with Heraeus has shown the options for touch panel makers are broader than just metallic based ITO-alternatives.”
The Clevios™ PEDOT:PSS range from the Display & Semiconductor Business Unit of Heraeus consists of materials for antistatic through to highly conductive applications. Materials are modified for their application method, usually printing or coating, and for their end application requirements. Typically Clevios™ coatings can reach 100 -250 Ohm/sq. at a transparency of 90% (excluding substrate film). Clevios™ is increasingly finding applications in touch panels and sensors, as well as OLEDs, organic solar cells and security coatings.
Further projects with the ITRI Group and Heraeus in the application of Displays are ongoing.
ITRI is one of the world's leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate for a better future for society. Based on its long-term partnership with various industry sectors, ITRI offers a wide range of services, from technical to business consultation, to the international community– such as contract research, product and process development, and pilot runs for technological upgrades; IP strategy and licensing, industrial analysis, and talent training for hi-tech business; and the open lab and incubation for new ventures and emerging industries. The Institute has also incubated more than 240 innovative companies since 1973, including well-known names such as UMC and TSMC. Headquartered in Taiwan, ITRI has five branch offices in Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow, and Eindhoven to extend its R&D innovation across the globe.
The Hanau-based precious metal and technology group Heraeus is a globally active family-run enterprise with a history of more than 160 years. We provide high-end solutions to our customers to lastingly strengthen their competitive position. Our areas of competence include precious metals, materials and technologies, sensors, biomaterials and medical devices, quartz glass and specialty light sources. In the financial year 2013, Heraeus achieved a revenue from the sale of products of €3.6 bn, while the revenue from precious metal trading was €13.5 bn. With about 12,500 employees in more than 110 companies world-wide, Heraeus is in a leading position on its global sales markets.