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Advanced Engineering 2019

Epigem’s Path is Clear for US Patent on Composite Electrode

22 December 2015

Epigem has received a notice of allowance by the US Patent and Trademark Office for its composite electrode.

Epigem’s composite electrode has many applications including as a transparent conducting film. It claims it can be designed to allow 95 per cent of light through, with a conductivity at least 10 times higher than that of indium tin oxide (ITO) coated film (for the same transparency). It improves conductivity owing to its innovative co-continuous layer of metal wires, too thin to see, which are perfectly embedded into a polymer insulator to nanometer precision.

According to Epigem, the composite electrode has been validated in trials for the manufacture of solar panels, lighting, touchscreens and displays, as well as in healthcare, diagnostics and measurement where, for instance, a smooth surface is required to grow biological cells.

Tim Ryan, Managing Director of Epigem, said, “We are very excited to be in a position where a US patent for our composite electrode is now a formality. It’s a hybrid solution that provides higher conductivity for a given transparency, compared to more traditional methods. Even after 20 years of experience in micro engineering, it’s still a great feeling to know our innovations will help improve products in the future. We look forward to continuing to find exciting new applications for the technology, especially in energy and healthcare.”

Epigem says that its composite electrode uses additive manufacturing with recognised associated environmental benefits. Unlike subtractive methods produced using copper foil laminates and then etching away what is not wanted, which generates lots of waste, the metal in Epigem’s composite electrode is only deposited in the polymer’s tiny channels so there is absolutely no waste.

Owing to its versatility, Epigem adds, its composite electrode can be made into any pattern and its smooth planar surface means it is ideal for over coating whilst its mesh form makes it strong and fault tolerant. The composite electrode can be manufactured in sheet form and reel to reel.

 





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