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Epigem granted US patent on composite electrode

Epigem, a high-tech British micro-engineering company, has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its composite electrode.

Epigem’s composite electrode has many innovative applications, including as a transparent conducting film. The composite electrode can be designed to allow 95 per cent of light through, with a conductivity at least 10 times higher than that of indium tin oxide (ITO) coated film (for the same transparency). It improves conductivity owing to its innovative co-continuous layer of metal wires, too thin to see, which are perfectly embedded into a polymer insulator to nanometer precision.

The composite electrode has been validated in trials for the manufacture of solar panels, lighting, touchscreens and displays, as well as in healthcare, diagnostics and measurement where, for instance, a smooth surface is required to grow biological cells, such as nerve cells.

Epigem’s composite electrode uses additive manufacturing with recognised associated environmental benefits. Unlike subtractive methods produced using copper foil laminates, which generate lots of waste by etching away what is not wanted, the metal in Epigem’s composite electrode is only deposited, where needed, in tiny channels in the embedding polymer, so there is no waste.

Tim Ryan, Managing Director of Epigem said “We are currently focusing on developing applications of the composite electrode technology that utilise our capabilities in manufacturing in 300 mm sheet width form. Everyone at Epigem is excited to take on further manufacturing contracts and increase the uses of this newly patented technology.”

Owing to its versatility, Epigem’s composite electrode can be made into any pattern and its smooth planar surface means it is ideal for over coating, whilst its mesh form provides strength and is fault tolerant. The composite electrode can be manufactured in sheet form and reel to reel.

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