ORGACON™ Transparent Conductive Screen-Printing Inks: FAQs
PEDOT is shorthand for the conductive polymer Poly(3,4-Ethylenedioxythiophene).
PEDOT inks are intrinsically conductive printable translucent materials that provide an alternative to ITO (Indium Tin-Oxide) films. As they are printable (and sprayable), they can conform to highly flexible and diverse three dimensional substrates. Compared to ITO, PEDOT inks may be less conductive and have a blue hue, however they enable product features not possible with ITO. Common uses for PEDOT inks include touch screen applications, flexible or three dimensional EL (Electro-Luminescent) devices and shielding applications where aesthetics are important.
The short answer is you can, but it won’t behave as you might hope. ITO is a sheet processed material that goes through a vacuum electro deposition process that places it on top of glass or PET. If ITO were to be processed to an ink, it would first have to be made into a powder, and the best comparison to this is a sheet of glass. A pane of glass is super transparent until it is smashed and fractured into pieces, then it begins to reflect and refract light. If you’ve ever seen glass powder, it looks like a shiny pile of flour. ITO will behave similarly when ground down to a powder, therefore ruining its optical transparency.
Orgacon inks can be used to create a less expensive touch panel or EL display, whereas ITO are for higher end products. Orgacon inks have a higher resistance so they will not function as a direct ITO replacement. Orgacon inks provide more flexibility than ITO, which tends to be brittle, and can be printed on to flexible substrates. Orgacon inks also have less processing steps and have better adhesion with other materials, compared to ITO.
When in a container, the material is extremely dark due to how densely packed the pigment is. When printed, however, the thin sheet of material is extremely transparent. The Orgacon inks each have a different visual light transmission factor, or “VLT”, a measurable property for comparing optical clarity.
In the past, PEDOT inks had white-light exposure stability issues, but with advances in technology, AGFA has developed new products with a stabilizing agent that now make the Orgacon line stand up against white light.
Store the inks at room temperature out of direct sunlight, do not chill and avoid freezing.