TDK's experience with thin film product manufacturing techniques
reaching back to the days of audio tapes, combined with sputtering
technology from optical disc and semiconductor manufacturing, has
enabled the creation of a unique 15µm-thick transparent
conductive film targeted at the capacitive touch panels.
TDK used an ITO (indium Tin Oxide) film formed by using a sputtering
method. Its surface resistance is 100Ω/sq which is suited for
capacitive touch panels for notebooks and All-In-One PCs
(15-17-inches). TDK forecasts that the surface resistance of the
future ITO film will be further reduced down to 100 Ω/sq by 2015.
TDK says that the new 'FLECLEAR' transparent conductive film
prototype features high transparency (low haze), an eye-friendly
color (tb value 0.5) as well as a stable quality. It would allow for
production of thinned tablet computers and smartphones. According to
TDK, the thickness of the transparent conductive films that are
currently used for capacitive touch panels is 125µm. But
50µm-thick products have been shipped in 2013, and they are
expected to become mainstream in 2014, as the demand for thinner
smartphones (<6mm) is increasing. The company aims to release the new
15µm-thick film in 2015, allowing for the development of
smartphones and tablets that are just 5mm thick.