CDT say they have produced an ITO-free PLED Lighting device, using a fine copper mesh. They have collaborated with Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) in the NOMAD project funded by the UK's government.
ITO is expensive and brittle, and is not so useful for flexible electronics. The new manufacturing method demonstrated in the NOMAD project reduces costs by eliminating ITO along with significantly reducing the capital and processing costs for patterning metal bus bars which distribute current and ensure the uniformity of light emission. CIT’s process eliminates the need for traditional vacuum sputtering equipment and etching tanks.
CIT’s photoimageable materials have been used to produce sub 10micron copper tracks on glass substrates, resulting in a highly transparent, highly conductive surface without the voltage drops of ITO based technologies. By applying a conductive polymer to these grids a true ITO replacement has been demonstrated and this has allowed a CDT to solution process its advanced layers of white emitting pOLED materials. This development is extremely encouraging and once device optimization has been completed, it is expected to lead to a significant increase in device efficiency