SBIR Phase II: Efficient Manufacturing of Nanostructured Flexible Transparent Conducting Electrodes

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1152722
Agency Tracking Number: 1152722
Amount: $499,171.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: NM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
455 Mission Bay Blvd South, Suite 545, San Francisco, CA, 94158-0000
DUNS: 829972103
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Michael Young
 (415) 692-5410
Business Contact
 Michael Young
Phone: (415) 692-5410
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to develop high-performance transparent conductors as a replacement to Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) in touchscreens. ITO suffers from a number of disadvantages, including being one of the most expensive components of a touchscreen device, complex manufacture, and inflexibility. In this project, a transparent conductor will be developed using solution-based conventional coating equipment. Two key features of this novel transparent conductor are: (1) ease of processing, which eliminates many conventional processing steps involved in coatings; and (2) extreme durability, which enables the creation of next-generation touch devices that are otherwise impossible to realize with ITO or other ITO-alternative materials. The tradeoff between photonic transmission and electronic conduction will be theoretically and experimentally studied by extracting effective optical parameters of transparent conductor films. The printed touchscreen sensors will be integrated into functional multi-touch projected-capacitive devices, which are expected to show mechanical flexibility, higher signal to noise ratios, and faster response times. The broader/commercial impacts of this project will be the potential to enable enhanced performance of touchscreens at disruptively lower costs. The total addressable market of patterned transparent conductor materials for touchscreen industry is about $1.3 billion today. Currently, material and processing costs of ITO represent a growing portion of the bill of materials for touchscreen devices. Transparent conductors to be developed through this project offer low-cost, high-performance, and high production throughput benefits, which will address the ITO-related challenges in touchscreen industry. Other applications of this technology includes liquid crystal displays, organic light emitting diodes, e-paper, flexible displays, thin film photovoltaics, electromagnetic shielding, defrosting windshields, low-emissivity architectural glass, and smart windows.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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