David Savastano, Editor12.12.11
For many years, indium tin oxide (ITO) has been a key ingredient in a number of applications, including touch screens. ITO offers excellent conductivity as well as optical transparency.
However, there are major disadvantages to ITO, and the search for alternatives has been ongoing for almost as long as ITO has been used in these applications. ITO is brittle, making it difficult for use on flexible substrates. Indium is both expensive and in short supply.
It is also more expensive to produce devices using ITO, as sputtering or vapor deposition are more costly processes, and with the market for touch screens growing dramatically, companies are looking at ways to more economically manufacture these displays.
The goal has been to find a polymeric alternative to ITO, and much of the research has centered on Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate), or PEDOT:PSS. A transparent, conductive polymer, PEDOT:PSS can be applied by a vari
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