Asahi Kasei launches prototype for invisible metal mesh for printed electronics on packaging

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Asahi Kasei demonstrates its IMA at AIPIA in Amsterdam. Photo: Asahi Kasei.
Asahi Kasei demonstrates its IMA at AIPIA in Amsterdam. Photo: Asahi Kasei.
Asahi Kasei has launched a prototype for an Invisible Metal Mesh (IMA) for packaging, using its in-house Seamless Roller Mold (SRM) machine.

Speaking at the AIPIA (Active & intelligent Packaging Industry Association) World Congress in Amsterdam this week (November 19-20) Takeshi Kamijo, researcher, Asahi Kasei, said the company is now looking for partners to ‘expand its vision’. 

‘Invisible’ RFID tag

Japanese firm
Takeshi Kamijo

He said the sub-micron roll to roll (R2R) technique works like an ‘ínvisible’ RFID tag similar to a transparent antenna, produced using a high resolution printing process and conductive inks. 

The metal mesh transparent antenna could be a revolutionary step in the adoption of RFID onto many packs where ‘real estate’ is at a premium, making brand owners and pack designers reluctant to adopt a device they want because it could interfere with a long established brand or pack image,​” he said.  

The sub-micron R2R printing process is essential for printed smart tags and this can happen thanks to a HP100nm resolution SRM being achieved.​” 

It wants to print a sub-micron resolution copper electrode on PET using its new printing process and cuprous oxide ink. The tiny metal mesh on the packaging substrate is less than 3μm microns. 

Many companies and institutes are developing flexible electronics devices and optical devices. At Asahi Kasei, we have successfully commercialized products such as Wire Grid polarization Film, and we are accelerating the development of other films for flexible electronics​,” added Kamijo. 

R2R expanded products

He explained Asahi Kasei has developed a large area seamless roller mold (SRM) using EB-Lithography and it has obtained ‘high resolution and seamless’ imprinted films using SRM and roll-to-roll (R2R) equipment. 

Asahi Kasei has been producing optical films and various kinds of electric devices and we are going to expand our products with the R2R processes​,” he said.

Now we are going to develop a SRM which is larger and finer. It will be needed to realize future products. This SRM‘s diameter is 100mm, and roller width is 50mm. In our latest projects, we have succeeded to make a 250mm wide SRM​.”

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