SOURCE: Industrial Technology Research Institute

Industrial Technology Research Institute

October 07, 2014 00:18 ET

ITRI and Komori Jointly Unveil One-Step Roll-to-Roll Metal Mesh Printing at CEATEC Japan

MAKUHARI MESSE, JAPAN--(Marketwired - Oct 7, 2014) -  ITRI and Komori disclose the collaboration results in one-step roll-to-roll metal mesh printing technology at 2014 CEATEC Japan from October 7th to 11th. The two parties will demonstrate a one-step printing technology for 11.6" touch panels with 5µm metal mesh and 30µm frame wires as well as 3µm printing capabilities. The technology is ready for mass production of touch panels. Through the integration of innovations in advanced materials and equipment, the production cost can be reduced to less than half of the cost of the existing manufacturing methods. The technology constitutes a breakthrough in boosting the international competitiveness of touch panel manufacturers. 

Dr. C.T. Liu, ITRI's Vice President and General Director of the Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories, remarks that ITRI has invested in the research of flexible electronics for over 10 years in the areas of system integration, roll-to-roll equipment, advanced materials and high-precision processes, while Komori has strengths in machinery manufacturing and refined printing technologies. In 2014, the two have achieved breakthroughs in mass production of large-sized touch sensors. One-step printing for the metal-mesh sensors and frame wires can replace ITO, lead the trends of narrow bezels, reduce costs, and simplify manufacturing processes.

Dr. Liu further states that most touch panels of smart phones and tablets presently on the market using ITO films are expensive and difficult to recycle. The metal mesh sensors developed by ITRI which features a minimum line width of 3-5µm can replace ITO films. In addition, its high transparency and low sheet resistance of less than 10Ω/sq. can also be applied to large touch panels. Significant advancements have been accomplished for manufacturing. ITRI and Komori have cooperated in the area of printed metal mesh. The previous two-step process of printing the narrow bezel and the metal mesh separately can now be done simultaneously. Furthermore, the new technology is capable of printing lines of various widths in one step. This replaces the conventional photolithography-and-etching process that is complicated and costly. The technology is creating a comprehensive touch panel manufacturing chain that can include everything from mobile handheld devices to medium- and large-sized touch panels.

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