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SDK to Unveil its Latest Silver Nanowire Ink for Electronic Devices at PE Asia 2012
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has developed printable silver nanowire ink for the manufacture of electronic devices jointly with Professor Katsuaki Suganuma of Osaka University. When the ink is used in combination with Photonic Curing™ process technology, highly stable, transparent conductive patterns can be formed on flexible films.
Silver nanowire ink can produce transparent conductive films with low sheet resistance (electrical resistance measured in thin film with uniform thickness). Thus, the ink is expected to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent conductive film for touch screen applications. The problem with conventional silver nanowire ink is that the application of a printing process is difficult due to ink properties and heating at high temperatures and etching are necessary after coating of the ink on a substrate. This means that it is difficult to use the ink on plastic substrates with low resistance to heat and the fabrication process is complicated. However, SDK has succeeded in developing printable silver nanowire ink by improving the ink's properties and adhesion, enabling its use on plastic substrates. Furthermore, SDK has succeeded in instantly curing printed circuits and making them conductive by using Photonic Curing™ process technology provided by NovaCentrix, of the United States. As the conductive film based on silver nanowire ink does not require indium, a kind of rare metal used in ITO, there is no problem of natural resource restrictions.
SDK has also developed copper/silver hybrid ink. While silver ink is already used widely, it has a problem of high cost and substantial degree of migration (movement of metals on the surface of or inside a nonmetallic medium, resulting in short circuit). SDK's new hybrid ink is made by adding a small amount of silver nanoparticles to copper nanoparticles. When this ink is used in combination with Photonic Curing™ process technology, printed patterns provide high conductivity similar to that of silver-ink-based patterns despite the high copper content. At the same time, migration is restricted to a low level. The hybrid ink can be used as a low-cost substitute for conventional silver ink and paste.
Printed electronics - the technology to manufacture electronic circuits and devices through printing, using conductive ink, etc. - is expected to be increasingly used as it enables substantial simplification of manufacturing processes. To meet future market growth, SDK will continue development of silver nanowire ink for the production of transparent conductive film. As for the copper/silver hybrid ink, SDK will start sample shipments this month.
SDK will present the silver nanowire ink and copper/silver hybrid ink at Printed Electronics Asia 2012 to be held at Hilton Tokyo on October 2 and 3.
About SDK Electronics
The Electronics Sector is conducting business mainly in the areas of compound semiconductors and rare earth magnetic alloys based on leading organic, inorganic and metallic material technologies. In the compound semiconductor business, SDK provides high-output LEDs covering the whole wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared, while meeting rapidly growing demand for blue LED chips and other ultrabright LED chips. Their rare earth magnetic alloys are used in high-performance magnets for small motors, essential for hard disk drives and other electronic devices, and for motors in hybrid cars. Thus, demand for their rare earth magnetic alloys is increasing rapidly. In addition, they are developing a proprietary solder precoating technology (Super JuffitTM) for high-density packaging and for lead-free soldering. They are also developing a charge-dissipating agent (EspacerTM) for electron beam lithography.
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