Double-side copper laminate polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films suitable for large-screenÂ touch panel sensor has been launched by Panasonic Corporation (Product Number: R-H825). This product is designed for large-format touch panel sensors used in many electronic products like electronic blackboards, digital signage, and amusement devices. Touch panel display manufacturers are striving to improve qualities of large format touch panels. One approach is to increase the sensor performance to help maximize the viewing area, enhance the ease of use for both pen and multi-touch inputs, and improve outdoor and indoor visibility even as display resolution increases to 4K and beyond. During the manufacturing process, large touch panel sensors may experience bending due to their size and weight. The resultant stresses on the conductors increase the risk of cracks or breaks in the sensor's copper wires that can result in an increase in electrical resistance or even complete failure of the wire. By combining a unique resin chemistry with proprietary thin-layer copper laminating technology, Panasonic has developed the new R-H825. This product exhibits excellent bending-resistance that reduces the risk of wire breakage, even in the largest displays. Additionally, low resistance copper ensures superior input sensitivity and a narrow mesh pattern enables high display visibility. Copper foil on both sides of the transparent PET improves mesh alignment and eliminates the need to use two separate single-sided conductive films.
Panasonic's new product has the following features:
*Exceptional bending resistance reduces the risk of wire cracking and facilitates material handling, even during the manufacturing process of large displays
*Low resistance copper facilitates highly sensitive and easy-to-use touch panel designs. This feature also enables multi-point, high-speed finger and pen input capabilities.
*The wiring created with the R-H825 aids the superior visibility demanded by high-definition displays because the copper mesh pattern does not obstruct the field of view. The R-H825 is manufactured into a functional sensor film (copper mesh film) by creating the conductor pattern and finely patterning the copper. Because copper is bonded to both sides of the PET, the alignment of X and Y is better than the traditional method of laminating two single-sided sensor films together.
As displays adopt higher definition, sensor films with thinner wiring are required. Until now, low adhesion between PET film and the copper pattern of conventional sensor films has severely limited the thinness of the conductor layer. The R-H825 enables low fine patterning by using Panasonic's unique composite material development technology to significantly increase the bond strength between the PET and the copper pattern. This increased adhesion enables dramatically finer wiring patterns, which in turn improve display visibility. (Panasonic can also provide this material as a copper mesh sensor film.) The manufacturing of traditional touch panels requires the highly accurate positioning of two single-sided sensor films prior to bonding them together. Precise positioning becomes increasingly difficult as larger screen sizes are designed. The Panasonic R-H825 has a conductive copper foil layer on both sides which eliminates the need to bond two films and achieves high positional accuracy of the X and Y layers and simplifying the manufacturing process.
Western University researchers have developed a thinner-than-thin polymer that could exponentially expand the memory storage of our computers and smartphones. The polymer is made of organic material, and not silicon now used in flash drives, and can be stretched 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. In commercial application it could be used to help store undreamed-of volumes of data.
The use of nanoscale magnetic whirlpools, known as magnetic skyrmions, to create novel and efficient ways to store data will be explored in a new £7M research programme led by Durham University. The UK team, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), now aims to make a step change in our understanding of skyrmions with the goal of producing a new type of demonstrator device in partnership with industry. Skyrmions, tiny swirling patterns in magnetic fields, can be created, manipulated and controlled in certain magnetic materials. Inside a skyrmion, magnetic moments point in different directions in a self-organised vortex. Skyrmions are only very weakly coupled to the underlying atoms in the material, and to each other, and their small size means they can be tightly packed together. Together with the strong forces that lock magnetic fields into the skyrmion pattern, the result is that the magnetic information encoded by skyrmions is very robust. Scientists can potentially move a skyrmion with 100,000 times less energy than is needed to move a ferromagnetic domain, the objects currently used in the memory of our computers and smartphones. Currently when we access information through the web, we remotely use hard disk drives that generate lots of heat and waste lots of energy. Skyrmionic technology could allow this to be done on smaller scale devices which would use much less energy.