Grid-type transparent conductive thin films of carbon nanotubes as capacitive touch sensors

Transparent conductive films are used in a wide variety of devices. While solar cell top electrodes as well as tablet and mobile phone screens require high optical transparency and low sheet resistance (>80% and <10 Ω/❑) to maximize power efficiency; other, less demanding applications, such as those in capacitive touch panels and antistatic coatings, in which only small currents are involved, can be managed with coatings of moderate conductivity. In this paper, we show that area-selective argon plasma treated polyethylene terephthalate surfaces are suitable for localized deposition of carbon nanotubes from their aqueous dispersions by a simple dip coating and subsequent drying processes. The as-deposited carbon nanotubes form entangled networks in microscopic patterns over the plasma-treated surface areas with sheet resistance of <1 kΩ/❑ and optical transparency of ~75%. Based on this process, we demonstrate grid-type transparent conductive thin films of carbon nanotubes as capacitive touch sensors. Since each process step is robust, easy to up and downscale, and may be implemented even in roll-to-roll and sheet-to-sheet fabrication, the demonstrated technology is promising to produce grid-type structures even at an industrial scale in the future.

Valasma Ronja, Bozo Eva, Pitkänen Olli, Järvinen Topias, Dombovari Aron, Mohl Melinda, Lorite Gabriela Simone, Kiss Janos, Konya Zoltan, Kordas Krisztian

A1 Journal article – refereed

Ronja Valasma et al 2020 Nanotechnology 31 305303