Metal mesh as an ideal replacement for ITO in the field of touchscreens?
ITO Replacement Metal Mesh

Bob Mackey has been a Senior Scientist at the US company Synaptics since 2002. During the "Printed Electronics Europe 2013 Conference" in April 2013, he gave a presentation on "Is Metal Mesh the ITO Replacement for Touch Screens?" (Is Metal Mesh the ideal replacement for ITO in the field of touchscreens?).

This question arises more and more often, since the beginning of 2013 touchscreens have also conquered the market in the field of notebooks and desktop PCs. Microsoft Windows 8 and Intel Ultrabook standards are decisive factors for the use of touchscreens in this area. The indium tin oxide (ITO) used so far has problems with large touchscreens (> 10-inch diagonal) to meet the necessary interplay between conductivity, transparency and low manufacturing costs. For this reason, the ITO replacement Metal Mesh is preferred for larger touchscreens.

Metal mesh is on the rise

In his presentation, Bob Mackey points out that ITO is the current top dog in the field of transparent ladders. However, metal nanofibers are on the rise because they are flexible, of low price and are definitely a substitute for ITO. Even if they still seem cloudy at below 50 ohms/square, there are already rapid improvements in this area.

Metal mesh has the least resistance, tight lines are almost invisible, problems with the moiré effect have also been solved, and black surfaces are less visible. In addition, Metal Mesh is the ideal technology that can also represent the market of large touchscreen displays (>10 inches) without any loss of electronic performance.

In any case, the presentation sounded promising and we are curious to see what happens next in this area.