Eastman Kodak Company and Heraeus, the global precious metals and technology company based in Hanau, Germany, have combined to achieve a breakthrough in transparent conductive films that may help transform the multi-billion dollar market for transparent conductor technologies.
A new resistive touch screen panel made with a Kodak transparent conductive film was demonstrated for the first time at the Printed Electronics USA 2011 Show.
The touch screen panel features a Kodak high conductive (HCF) polyester film that utilizes a surface coating made by the Heraeus Conductive Polymers Division, marking a change in the way touch screen displays used in computers, smart phones and other electronic devices may be manufactured in the future.
The two companies have been experimenting with a variety of films and formulations to create a touch screen that provides superior performance, flexibility, stability, transparency, neutral color and low haze – all at an economic price, and as a working alternative to Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).
ITO is a rare, complex, unstable material. When used on a thin, flexible substrate, it has a high surface roughness and tends to be brittle.
“Kodak’s high quality conductive films and large scale coating capabilities, combined with Heraeus’ advanced technologies and patterning techniques, offer breakthrough capabilities for applications looking for a competitive technology to ITO,” said Mark Juba, General Manager of Kodak’s Industrial Materials Group.
A NanoMarkets 2011 “Transparent Conductor Market” report predicts that the overall market for transparent conductor technologies will reach $6.9 billion by 2016. The report said new technologies such as the one demonstrated the Printed Electronics show are expected to capture up to 20% of this market from ITO based systems.
“In the near future we will see touch screens in almost every electronic device,” said Dr. Stephan Kirchmeyer, Head of the Functional Coatings Business Unit of the Heraeus Conductive Polymers Division. “This growth will require a touch screen technology that is both more advanced and more economical. We have taken a big step forward.
“The market can now access a complete system that provides patterned transparent conductive films with enhanced performance at lower cost compared with current material sets and processes.”
As the world’s foremost imaging innovator, Kodak helps consumers, businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of pictures and printing to enrich their lives and businesses.
Heraeus is a global company with 160 years of tradition. Our fields of competence include precious metals, materials and technologies; sensors; biomaterials; and medical products, as well as dental products, quartz glass, and specialty light sources.