A Singapore based SME that specialises in research, design and manufacturing of solder and chemical products has developed a highly conductive, long silver nanowires (AgNW) that are suitable as a key coating material in the fabrication of flexible and transparent substrates. ITO is typically used in transparent conductive films (TCFs) and used extensively in touch panel displays, liquid crystal displays, electroluminescent lighting, organic light-emitting diode devices, and photovoltaic solar cells.
However, ITO-based TCFs face certain limitations, such as the high cost of indium and the need for complicated and expensive vacuum deposition equipment and processes. It also has low flexibility and bendability due to its inherent brittleness and tendency to crack, especially when deposited on flexible substrates.
In contrast, AgNW TCF developed by the SME offers excellent flexibility, bendability, and low resistance when compared to ITO films. As a result, AgNW is a frontrunner as a replacement for transparent, flexible conductive films.
Silver nanowire-based technology has the following properties:
• Tunable dimensions for different applications
• Average diameter: 30-80 nm
• Average length: 40 µm
• Available solvents: IPA
• Standard Concentration: 1 – 5 mg/ml
• Standard Density: 1 – 1.3 g/cm³
Nanowire coated film properties:
• Sheet resistance: <100 Ω/sq
• Transparency: 90-99%
• Curing temperature: 150°C
• Curing time: 1 – 2 min
• Application method: Slot-die coating, gravure printing
This technology is applicable (but not limited) to:
• ITO replacement
• Transparent, flexible conductive films
• Ability to incorporate materials into thermoforming processes to create conductive 3D models
• Printed photovoltaic, lightweight, flexible, possibility of semi-transparency, suitable for wearables, portable electronics and other applications which need to be lightweight and operate in low-light environment
• Printed lighting and printed lighting strip
• Touch screens: large area touch, flexible touch
• Printed antenna
• Printed heater
The total market for printed, flexible, and organic electronics is expected to grow from US$41.2 billion in 2020 to US$74 billion in 2030. The strong growth potential in printed touch screens is driven by the rapid growth of the large area and flexible touch surfaces.
Licensing, research cooperation or commercial agreements with technical assistance with SMEs and MNEs of all sizes —especially with companies from Germany or France, to jointly participate in joint innovation opportunities — are sought by the technology provider.