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CHASM Advanced Materials announced a new generation of its AgeNT™ transparent conductive film (TCF) platform specifically formulated for applications requiring very low sheet resistance and high visible light transparency (VLT), such as transparent RF antennas, transparent RF / EMI shielding films, transparent heaters, and transparent electrodes & wiring for LED lighting. AgeNT-1 product structures are created by printing carbon nanotube (CNT) ink onto a Copper metal mesh (MM) film. The improved generation 2 material delivers narrower mesh wires (5µm) at a closer spacing (300µm), increasing overall transparency as well as increasing design freedom by enabling finer circuit features. Demonstrating optoelectronic performance of 94% VLT and 1 ohm per square, only AgeNT-1 enables engineers and product designers to innovate transparent, high-efficiency wideband RF antennas for a variety of applications including 5G, WiFi, IoT, etc. that can escape the bounds of the typical enclosure to unobtrusively disappear into architectural elements like overhead lights, windows, or glazed artwork, putting more antennas closer to points of use to increase signal strength and data speeds.
According to Security Today, approximately 127 new IoT devices are brought online every second, and the number of IoT devices in the field is expected to surpass 75 billion in 2025. As the number of interconnected IoT devices continues growing, their form factors will continue evolving to satisfy diverse application requirements. Each of these devices will need to communicate via one or more wireless protocols while satisfying diverse performance requirements for a broad range of applications. In addition, the mainstream adoption of 5G and subsequent roll-outs will push frequencies into upper limits, and printed antennas need to maintain RF performance at such high frequencies.
“We’ve noticed a significant increase in transparency of CHASM’s latest generation of the AgeNT-1 platform, plus the finer wire width and mesh spacing means creating smaller-sized antenna features is possible," said Dr. Mark Hudman, Development and Engineering Director, In2tec. “Our lab testing confirms the RF performance of this latest version of AgeNT-1 as approaching the performance levels of etched Copper or printed Silver circuit non-transparent antennas, allowing us to use the new AgeNT-1 to deliver cutting edge transparent antenna designs of a more diverse nature and of greater value to our customers.”
With unique CNT Hybrid TCF materials on thin, flexible substrates such as AgeNT-1, IoT and 5G designers can create high performance antennas that cut the distance and remove obstructions between connected devices. Transparent antennas make previously inaccessible “real estate” available to engineers and product designers so windows in automobiles, lenses on lighting fixtures or any convenient plastic or glass surface can become a RF transmitter or receiver. AgeNT-1 uses a PET substrate measuring only 4-mil (100µm) thick, so resulting antennas can significantly reduce the overall weight of electronic devices or provide much needed clearance in compact designs. Circuit patterns are created using low-cost screen printing so design iterations can be quickly and inexpensively turned at low tooling cost, giving designers the capability to tailor bandwidth, resonance structure, directionality, and other antenna characteristics while delivering high VLT and low sheet resistance.
“AgeNT-1 gives RF antenna engineers design freedom to hide antennas in plain sight, placing them on surfaces not previously considered to increase performance and customer satisfaction," said David J. Arthur, CEO and Co-Founder, CHASM Advanced Materials, Inc. “Removing the design barrier and limitations from traditional antenna manufacturing components is liberating for antenna designers and product designers and their industrial designer counterparts.”
The new formulation of AgeNT-1 will be available beginning late Q2-2020 directly from CHASM or select distributors worldwide.