Currently, display industries, LCD and OLED displays manufacturing is based on Indium-Tin Oxide (ITO) Transparent Conducting Films (TCF). Nevertheless, Indium metal is a very scarce material and its worldwide resources are becoming increasingly limited. Thus, the prices of produced displays based on ITO will inevitably rise day by day if no alternative material is developed to replace it. Moreover, ITO films have limitations in flexibility and this fact excludes them from application in the production of new-generation displays, such as electronic books and flexible displays.
The guiding principle of NanoDiGree is to manufacture, through economical viable production methods, competitive high quality transparent conducting films in order to replace ITO. This projected solution will be based on the production of conductive/transparent inks containing Cu nanowires which will be fabricated via advanced pulse electrodeposition (PED) methods. The Cu nanowires will be electro deposited into anodised aluminium oxide (AAO) nanoporous-templates by utilizing pulse current electrodeposition. The produced nanowires will be dispersed in “green” solvent mixture in order to develop the printing inks for the afterwards production of the films. Finally, Roll-to-Roll printing will be used in order to apply thin flexible conductive-transparent films on suitable polymer substrates that will be used as the flexible devices.
The goal of the NanoDiGree proposal is to intercept the trend of integration of all supply chain manufacturer of displays in Asia by producing high added value component in Europe. The successful outcome of this project will have a significant impact in European competitiveness within the market of TCF. Indeed, the impact is intended to be significant, considering that the alternative TCFs address the need of constantly growing market sectors, which nowadays widely use ITO. These are the electronic displays as well as the solar panels manufacturers.