Additive printing processes for flexible touchscreens: increased materials and cost efficiency. Free within this context; source: INM

The INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials has developed new processes with photochemical metallization and printing (gravure printing, inkjet printing) of transparent conductive oxides (TCOs), which are significantly more time- and cost-saving. These will be presented by the scientists at this year's Hannover Messe from 1 to 5 April at Stand C54 in Hall 5.

The researchers use continuous fibres in their fibre-reinforced plastics. Credits: Koziel/TUK

3D printers are becoming ever more important: they can be used to quickly produce the desired products. Researchers at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern are also working with this system: in order to optimize the printing result for plastics, they examine the conditions required during printing. In this context, the composition of the material also plays a role. With their fibre-reinforced plastic, they rely on fibres that are completely built into the plastic like a string. This is interesting, for example, for the lightweight construction of vehicles. They will present their work at the Hannover Messe from 1 to 5 April at the Rhineland-Palatinate research stand (Hall 2, Stand B40).

Flexible electronics without sintering. Free within this context; source: INM

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials presents hybrid inks for inkjet printing that contain metal nanoparticles coated with conductive polymers. The inks can be formulated in water and in other polar solvents and are suitable to print conductive structures on a range of substrates without any subsequent thermal or UV treatment. Standard metal inks require annealing after inkjet printing to become conductive. INM’s new inks obviate this step, making them compatible with many substrates including thin polymer foils and paper.

The first touchscreen that taps back: Engineers Sophie Nalbach and Steffen Hau from Stefan Seelecke’s team test the prototype system that will be exhibited at Hannover Messe. Credit: Oliver Dietze

By pulsing or vibrating on demand, smartphone screens can help users navigate through a menu or can guide a user’s finger to virtual on-screen buttons that can be created or removed wherever and whenever needed. Professor Stefan Seelecke and his team at Saarland University have developed a film that gives touchscreens a third dimension. The thin and extremely lightweight silicone film can adopt a variety of positions and shapes and can be made to execute a single pulse, a pushing motion, a sudden jolt or a prolonged vibration at a specific location on the screen. The polymer film also exhibits sensor properties and can therefore provide the device with an added sense organ.