Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo Provides Flexible Touch Panel Market with Silver Nanoparticle Ink-Printed Film using Ultrafine Metal Mesh Exhibits at SEMICON West, San Francisco, July 12

TOKYO, July 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & CEO: Akira Tanae), the manufacturing business of Tanaka Precious Metals, announced today a collaboration with several technology research institutes in Japan to commercialize a fabricated conductive film for touch panel sensors. The film is manufactured from a transparent flexible substrate printed with silver nanoparticle ink to form ultrafine wiring of 0.8 microns wide (1 micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter). This new product will be exhibited at the SEMICON West exhibition to be held on July 12-14.

The printing technology behind this product is called “SuPR-NaP” (Surface Photo-Reactive Nano metal Printing), which can be used at normal temperatures and atmospheric pressures without the etching equipment for indium tin oxide (ITO) or metal film that was previously required, which enables more efficient and precise mass production in the workplace.

This technology will lead to an expansion of applications using these sensors because it can be applied to small touch panel sensors rather than just large or medium-sized ones. One of those applications is print formation onto PET film or similar, so there are great expectations for its application to the new industry of wearable products that are generating attention lately. Tanaka Precious Metals will begin full-scale distribution of samples of the technology starting from January 2017.

Along with the diversification of wearable devices and other displays over recent years, there is growing demand for application to flexible substrates, such as printing electronic circuits on substrates used in such applications as touch panel sensors. While there had been increasing expectation that printable metal mesh wiring would achieve the lowest possible resistance, the problem was that hardly any light could pass through the metal areas. This is why it was necessary to achieve delicate fabrication of electronic circuit patterns with wires that are invisible to the eye, on the order of a few microns wide. This new product uses silver nanoparticle ink, as the material most suited to circuit printing because of its high transparency and low resistance, to achieve conductive film with a fine mesh pattern, so its potential for a wide range of applications, including wearable devices, is expected to grow.

Chemical Materials Development Department Director Takao Enomoto commented: “We developed technology to easily form flexible circuits from precious metals. As specialist manufacturers of precious metals, we will first apply a new material fit for rapid industrialization to film for touch panel screens.”

With the collaboration of Yamagata University, the Flexible Electronics Research Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and the University of Tokyo, an 8-inch (20.32-centimeter) prototype of this product has already been manufactured and has appeared in Nature Magazine. Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo will display various technologies that utilize precious metals, with a focus on this product, at the SEMICON West exhibition.

In addition, Flexible Conductive Film (metal mesh) has been adopted as a development challenge under the Next Generation Technology Transfer Program (NexTEP) being implemented by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

Tanaka Precious Metals will exhibit at SEMICON West 2016, one of the world's largest semiconductor exhibitions, which will be held at Moscone Center in San Francisco from July 12th through 14th, 2016. Tanaka will display Targets and Evaporation Materials, Bonding Wires, Plating Solutions, Ag Adhesives, UV Cure Material, AuRofuse, Blazing Materials, Medical Semiconductor Materials. Please visit us at booth 929 in South Hall.

Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.
Headquarters: 22F, Tokyo Building, 2-7-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Akira Tanae, Representative Director & CEO
Founded: 1885 Incorporated: 1918 Capital: 500 million yen
Employees: 1,992 (as of October 1, 2015)
Sales: 872,677 million yen (FY2014)
Main businesses: Manufacture, sales, import and export of precious metals (platinum, gold, silver, and others) and various types of industrial precious metals products.
Website: http://pro.tanaka.co.jp/en

TANAKA America Inc.
Head office: 235 Vineyard CT 150, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, USA
Representative: Isao Hirano Telephone: +1-408-778-3217
Founded: October 1, 2015
Capital: 837,000 USD
Employees: 5
Business activities: Product marketing, market development and research and development

About Tanaka Precious Metals - Tanaka Kikinzoku Group -

Established in 1885, Tanaka Precious Metals conducts a wide range of activities as a specialist precious metals organization. The Group is one of the largest companies in Japan in terms of volumes of precious metals handled, and it holds the world's largest market share for many products including bonding wire, precious metal clad materials, and cadmium-free rivet contacts. It meets the needs of every field that requires precious metals, from home electronics to automobiles, semiconductors, new energy, medical, environment and infrastructure, and supports companies to improve the competitiveness of their manufacturing activities.

As precious metals professionals, the Group will continue to contribute to enriching people’s lives into the future.

The five core companies in the Tanaka Precious Metals are as follows.

  • Tanaka Holdings Co., Ltd. (pure holding company)

  • Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.

  • Tanaka Denshi Kogyo K.K.

  • Electroplating Engineers of Japan, Limited

  • Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry K.K.

Consolidated Group employees: 3,511 (as of FY2014)

Consolidated Group sales: 856.4 billion yen (as of FY2014)

Media inquiries: Walker Sands Communications Tyler Balkin, Account Executive Telephone: +1-312-561-2482/E-mail: tyler.balkin@walkersands.com TANAKA America Inc. Matt Watson, Director, Business Department Telephone: +1-408-778-3217/ E-mail:mattwatson@ml.tanaka.co.jp

Source:TANAKA, Inc.