STTR Phase I: Liquid Printed Metal Nanomeshes for Transparent Conductors

Period of Performance: 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2016

$225K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Liquid X Printed Metals, Inc.
515 William Pitt Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Pittsburgh
123 University Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Institution POC

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation (SBIR) Phase I Project is the demonstration of metal nanomeshes as a disruptive new technology. This innovation has the potential to exceed the performance of indium tin oxide, the industrial standard transparent conductor. The key features of the proposed technology are that it can be processed atmospheric pressure and low temperatures, the metal nanomeshes feature high durability, which may enable new touch screen applications, and the metal nanomeshes exhibit uniform performance over micron length scales. Opportunities are anticipated in touchscreen devices. Additional opportunities may emerge in organic light emitting diode displays, lighting and solar cells. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to develop new metal inks and metal patterning techniques to print metal nanomesh structures with high transparency and low sheet resistance. The key advantages of the new metal inks are that they decompose at low temperatures, solidify into pure metals with high conductivities, demonstrate high conductivity at sub-micron film thicknesses, bend and flex without cracking, and exhibit versatility in variety of industrial printing processes. Simulations studies will be utilized to understand how to design nanomeshes with high transmission, low sheet resistance, and low haze. New additive printing processes that pattern sub-micron features from metal inks will be developed. Metal nanomeshes are expected to exhibit high durability under bending and deformation.