Electroninks’ Provides Enabling Technology for Advanced Displays
Exhibitor: ELECTRONINKS INC.
Booth No.: L331
Electroninks’ Provides Enabling Technology for Advanced Displays
Subhead: Electroninks, the leader in metal-complex conductive inks and advanced materials, provides critical metallization technology in the production of micro and mini LED displays, and touch sensors.
The past decade has brought an evolution in display technologies that require a shift in how best to meet consumer demand for higher performance and efficient displays in all formats ranging from very large, to in-vehicle, to tiny (such as contact lenses and wearables). Consequently, micro and mini LED displays are gaining in prominence, as is the need for reliably manufacturing them with agile, cost-effective methods.
As for touch panel technology, the demand for lighter, smaller and faster portable electronics with foldable and other unique form factors continues to grow. With this, the need for lower profile (thin, narrow) bezel electrodes that drive these touch sensor panels is a key enabler. Current foldable technology including those on the market (like the Samsung Galaxy Fold) utilizes bezel electrodes and other metalization that should be durable, bendable, low-profile, and with excellent electrical properties.
Edge metallization is critical for the tiling of micro/miniLED panels into larger format displays. Conventional metallization approaches include sputtering and plating. However, these methods have limitations which include temperature restrictions, the use of highly toxic materials, low throughput, high utilities (energy and water) and maintenance usage, and production costs. They also require intense patterning/etching, resulting in a complicated and multi-step integration scheme that can negatively impact yield, costs, and ultimate device design/manufacturing flexibility.
Conductive nanoparticle inks and pastes are one of the main building blocks of all printed electronic devices and circuit boards, forming their fundamental structure and integrated low-resistance circuit interconnects, antennas, EMI shielding, and contact electrodes. Many conventional and novel printing techniques have been employed with nanoparticle-based inks for the fabrication of conductive patterns, dictating different limitations for the properties of the printed inks. Conductive silver inks have been the most applied material in flexible substrates. One of the key technology limitations of conventional conductive inks is that they contain large amounts of polymer (to stabilize the large metal particles or flakes), which would increase the electrical resistivity of printed electrodes and require higher curing temperatures.
Flexible electrodes printed with conductive inks have attracted much attention in applications such as wearable electronics, flexible displays, RFID, EMI shielding, and others. Conductive inks are now being used for printing the edge electrodes (and other applications) in microLED technology. And for touch panel sensors, this ink technology is being utlized in the bezel, which are becoming thinner and thinner. Improvements to fine feature printing allowed conductive inks to become significantly more competitive in the touch screen and edge electrode technology as they offer similar performance as conventional metalization techniques, but at lower temperatures and higher throughput, thereby giving OEMs and panel makers design and cost-pressure easing.
“We are seeing considerable interest from customers to screenprint edge electrodes for advanced display applications. Customers have seen that screen printing can meet their technical challenges but at significantly lower cost and complexity than their current solutions,” said Applied Materials' Director of Sales, Daniel Hada. “Advanced inks are key to further improvements in printing small features at low costs. Continued improvements in these conductive inks will help drive the development of advanced display and lower manufacturing costs.”
Particle-free inks offer some unique features. Particle-free inks enable new performance, pricing, and application paradigms for conductive inks. Available in Ag, Pd, Pt, Au and NI the inks do not rely on a nanoparticle ‘sintering’ mechanism. Additionally, Electroninks is recognized as the leading provider of true high-volume manufacturing (HVM) particle-free metal complex inks.
Highly conductive with a lower thermal and UV curing profile, Electroninks’ particle-free inks do not require traditional binders and surfactants required by nanoparticle inks. Electroninks’ particle-free conductive inks provide an alternative to the challenges created by pushing tiny metal particles to their performance limit. These conductive inks can be printed onto all relevant substrates used in displays, using tiny line width specifications to create the smallest and most compact mini and micro-LED product solutions.
Developing and manufacturing these tiny electronics can be costly and difficult, especially due to pandemic-related supply constraints. Electroninks’ particle-free inks can produce a very thin and conductive bezel electrode that offers technology benefits for the customers along with tremendous savings on materials used and cost. Panel makers and OEMs can save from 50 to 90% in costs when utilizing Electroninks’ particle-free conductive inks for the production of mini and micro LEDs.
Better brightness and dimming control, lower power consumption, enabling the next generation of AR/VR displays, and lower cost are all compelling reasons for using Electorninks’ particle-free inks to develop mini and micro LEDs, providing superior outcomes for both the producer and the consumer.
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