Dr Dan Button is from Innova Dynamics and the company effectively used SID to make announcements and come more into public view. It has announced new products with Dai Nippon Printing.
Innova is an electronics material company that has a “platform” that allows it to engineer materials to transform their properties.
The company chose touch as one of its first targets because it’s a big opportunity and Innova believes it has a compelling story. It is aiming for smaller displays than Cima and is looking at the mobile to notebook size range at the moment. The DNP product will be sold to companies including Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi.
Innova has partners including BASF and is an emerging supplier of silver nanowires. PPG is a specialist in inks and pastes and is a partner. DNP will go into mass production using Innova technology in Q4. A major touch module maker has also invested in the firm, but the identity is secret for the moment.
Touch panels are expensive, so reducing the cost is helpful in expanding the market. ITO alternatives can have problems with optics or cost.
Innova can put particles into the surface of polymer films, coatings and bodies. The company will make inks and pastes that can be used by being applied to a film. There are no binders and the solvents soften the surface so that the wires settle into the film. The wire is in the top 1-2 nanowire diameters.
The patterning is very simple and screen printing can be used to differentiate between conductive and non-conductive areas which means no optical difference between those areas. Innova says that its patterning reduces the cost by 50% compared to photolithography. Button said that the company has been through five deep patent search processes by investors, so is confident that it has a strong IP portfolio.
Compared to ITO, Innova claims a cost reduction of 30% to 50%. The performance is said to be much better than metal mesh, especially in optics and haze. It can achieve 50 Ω/sq
The Innova material is used in a structure that is simpler and lower cost than other AgNW makers.
Button said that Samsung and Apple have both said that they will use silver nanowire for larger tablets.
Innova is in a Series C round to raise $12m and has raised $20m to date.