OPE Journal

MATERIALS 24 Nano inks with novel functionalities GenesInk highlights its new transparent conductive inks and hole transport layer inks for transparent electrodes and photovoltaics applications No 33 | November 2020 | OPE journal GenesInk is an SME specialised in metallic and semi-metallic nanomaterials and nanoinks manufacturing for consumer electronics appli- cations. The company was created in 2010 in France and is nowadays employing more than 20 talented persons (80% in R&D&I) and has sales offices and distributors in Taiwan, Japan, and USA. GenesInk has more than 12 patent families with more than 60 patents worldwide. The manufacturer’s actual range of products comprises more than 40 different nanoinks available on the market. Focus on innovation Nowadays, GenesInk enables consumer electronics that previously were not thought to be possible: • Flexible and foldable active packaging, smartphones, and screens. • Connected wearables such as eyeglasses and biosensors. • Transparent and flexible layers for photo- voltaics applications. The French company is facilitating end to end processes: not only do they develop nanomaterials and formulate inks; they also help customers to set up printing processes and implement new printed components into their end-devices. By doing this, they are not selling the inks, but rather new func- tionalities. Genesink designs nano inks with novel functionalities at their core from particle synthesis to the printed end product. In doing so, electronics are freed up to enable a new generation of consumer electronics, claims the company. Solutions to the consumer electronics market GenesInk is offering nanoparticle-based inks to the market. With nanoparticles, low tem- perature processed flexible substrates such as polymers, cellulose, and papers, can be considered for electronic applications. These nano inks can be produced at industrial scale and are designed with combined mechanical and optical functionalities at the core – flex- ibility, stretchability, thinness, high resolution, and transparency. The (conductive) nano inks are designed with ultra-high power effi- ciency. According to the manufacturer, they are up to five times more conductive than market leaders with seven to eight times less materials used. GenesInk also highlights that its nano inks are designed and produced in a way that is respectful to humans and the environment. Know-how Three types of nanomaterials are offered to the market by GenesInk: • The SmartInk silver-based nano inks are designed for printing highly conductive and flexible electronics. SmartInk prod- ucts are cured at low temperatures, ena- bling the use of flexible substrates, and resulting in faster drying and lower sheet resistances than comparable silver prod- ucts. SmartInk products are specifically designed for conductive interconnects, busbars, and antenna functionalities. • The Tranductive nano ink based on Ag nanowires (Ag NW) is one of the most promising alternatives to ITO (Indium Tin Oxide). With the emergence of new tech- nologies such as flexible PV and displays, ITO films are outperformed as they are difficult to process, brittle and delami- nate frequently. Tranductive nanoinks are designed to be applicated by standard coating processes and compatible with plastic substrates thanks to their low dry- ing temperature. • Based on metal oxides (zinc oxide (ZnO), aluminium doped zinc oxide (AZO), and tungsten oxide (WO3)), HeliosInk products are semi-conductive inks and can be used as charge transport layer in photovoltaic cells (solar energy), and lighting (OLED) applications. In the further course of this article, we will focus on Tranductive and HeliosInk. Ag NW-based inks for transparent conduc- tive electrodes (TCE) and WO3 nanoparticle (NPs) based inks for hole transport layer (HTL) applications, respectively. GenesInk’s nanoinks ranges and their targeted applications.