FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO: Shigetaka Komori; hereafter, Fujifilm) has developed a new transparent conductive film "EXCLEAR" for use in displays and touch-panels, offering a high level of transmittance, flexible performance and a wide range of sheet resistance, incorporating silver halide photographic technologies. Fujifilm has started distributing samples in a lead-up to its commercial launch scheduled for this autumn.
Transparent conductive films are highly functional materials, and essential in displays and touch-panels as a transparent electrode. With its application expanding, e.g. electronic paper, organic EL light emitting elements and displays, the demand is growing for transparent conductive films that are lightweight or highly flexible. In FY2013, the market is expected to be worth 30 billion to 40 billion yen.*1
Currently, ITO (indium tin oxide) films are generally used for transparent conductive films. However, they are easy to crack when flexed, and have a limited range of sheet resistance, thereby sometimes failing to achieve desired performance, and posing various challenges that may hinder future growth. In addition, since indium is a rare metal, there are concerns for its eventual depletion or skyrocketing of prices.
“EXCLEAR”, developed by Fujifilm, incorporates findings from functional material research, precision thin coating technology and image-processing technology conducted over many years for the development of photographic films and flat-panel display materials. Fine-pitch silver patterns and transparent conductive materials are placed on a clear PET (polyethylene terephthalate) substrate to achieve a high level of transmittance, flexible performance and a wider range of sheet resistance.
The precision digital exposure technology is used to carry out patterning of silver lines of various thickness and density over a substrate coated with highly light sensitive silver halide materials This silver patterning has enabled broader sheet resistance ranging from ultra-low (0.2Ω/☐) to high (several thousand Ω/☐) with the combination of inorganic / organic transparent conductive materials.
Combining flexibility-controlled silver halide and transparent conductive materials on a film has achieved advanced flexible performance.
This film demonstrates a high transmittance of 80% or above, which is equivalent to that of the ITO-based transparent conductive film.
Since the film can be supplied in a roll, it lends itself to volume production and addition of composite functions.
Taking advantage of these properties, the film will be deployed in a wide range of areas, e.g. as an alternative to ITO-based films currently used on various displays and flat light sources, or as a transparent conductive film for products that require flexible performance (touch-panels, electronic paper) and high conductivity (solar cells).
Fujifilm will continue to apply proprietary technologies to pursue R&D of highly functional materials, and provide products and technologies that make a significant contribution to enhance the quality of life of people.
Estimation based on market projection data cited in a report by Yano Research Institute.
Corporate Public Relations Division
Industrial Products Division
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