The US Department of Energy (DoE) awarded a $1 million project that aims to replace ITO with a metal-based micro-grid with an aim to improve the performance of OLED lighting panels.

This research project is led by Professor Paul Leu from the University of Pittsburgh and Texas-based Electroninks which provides the silver-based inks. Electroninks’ metal inks can cure at low temperatures, be printed into patterns, and has conductivity comparable to bulk metal. Using a new metal patterning technique that prints the metal grid directly on glass or plastic, it is possible to create micro-grids that can outperform ITO at a lower manufacturing cost.

Electroninks says that it is already talking with industry partners with an aim to commercialize this technology. This new project continues the previous project that achieved 90% transparency and sheet resistance under 1 ohm per square.

Atomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processesAtomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processes