Silver Nanowire (AgNW) for Transparent Conductive Films

Technology Overview

This technology presents highly conductive, long silver nanowires (AgNW), a key coating material in the fabrication of conductive and transparent substrates. The incumbent material used in transparent conductive films (TCFs), indium tin oxide (ITO), has been used extensively in touch panel displays, liquid crystal displays, electroluminescent lighting, organic light-emitting diode devices and photovoltaic solar cells. However, ITO-based TCFs faces certain limitations such as the high cost of indium, the need for complicated and expensive vacuum deposition equipment and processes and ITO’s inherent brittleness and tendency to crack, especially when deposited on flexible substrates. Therefore, AgNW is a frontrunner as a replacement for transparent, flexible conductive films. 

Technology Features & Specifications

Silver nanowire properties:

  • Tunable dimensions for different applications
  • Average diameter: 50-60 nm
  • Average length: 30-40 µm
  • Available solvents: IPA, water
  • Standard Concentration: 1% (by weight)
  • 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

Potential Applications

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 require light weight and operates in low-light environment.
  • Printed lighting and printed lighting strip
  • Touch screens: large area touch, flexible touch
  • Printed antenna
  • Printed heater

Market Trends and Opportunities

The total market for printed, flexible and organic electronics will grow from $29.28 billion in 2017 to $73.43 billion in 2027. Touch screen industry has grown rapidly from 2009 ($4.5 billion) to 2017 ($25 billion), driven by smart phones and tablets. The future growth in printed touch screens is driven by the rapid growth of the large area and flexible touch surfaces.

Customer Benefits

  • Roll-to-Roll processes for printed electronic can lead to economy of scale, resulting in cheaper manufacturing cost
  • Opens up various new applications for flexible and flexible hybrid electronics
  • Low temperature curing, viable to coat on a wide variety of substrates (PET, PI, paper, glass etc.)
  • Better performance compared to incumbent technology (ITO)

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