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issue: August 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Supplier Innovations
Touch Panels


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Fujitsu Components America, Inc. has developed new resistive touch panels that use a durable conductive polymer film and reportedly cost less to produce than conventional resistive touch panels.

The touch panels use a pliable, transparent conductive polymer as the transparent electrode in place of the indium-tin-oxide (ITO) found in typical resistive touch-panel films. Able to withstand 200,000 pen inputs with no structural degradations or resistance increases, the new touch panels are said to be more durable than those using ITO film. Applications for the panels include cell phones, PDAs, tablet PCs, and other pen-based devices, where longer life and higher reliability are required.

To produce the touch panels, the company developed a new film coating process that is said to be less costly and more ecologically friendly. Using a roll coater, the liquid conductive polymer is combined with a water-based solvent and is applied to the PET film with uniform thickness. The coating process is said to eliminate the need for sputtered film and reportedly reduces production costs in high volume compared to ITO-film touch panels.

The new touch panels, which range in sizes from 2.9 to 17 in, are said have similar conductivity and transparency properties as ITO-film touch panels. Using a patented molecular-orientation technology, the company says it was able to produce the conductive polymer material with 93-percent transparency over the 400- to 700-nanometer spectrum.
Fujitsu Components America, Inc.

 

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