Eikos employs proprietary water-based inks to make nanotube coatings. These inks take advantage of the colloidal nature of the carbon nanotubes to form dispersions with long shelf life and predictable handling. The ink-making process has been designed to be scalable and robust.
Nanotube inks can be tailored to meet the processing and application needs of our customers. Solids content, surface tension, and viscosity are variable over a wide range. These variables allow the end user to tailor an ink formulation for a specific substrate, as well as a target conductivity and transparency. Since different applications demand different film conductivities, Eikos can formulate inks with nanotubes that result in film conductivities between 100 and 5,000 S/cm.
Upon request, Eikos can formulate specialty inks based on solvents other than water for hydroscopic or reactive substrates or high temperature coating processes. Eikos has experience formulating inks for all the following deposition processes: spray, gravure, flow, dip, inkjet, slot die, and many non-traditonal approaches.
To provide enhanced mechanical, optical, and durability properties, a proprietary binder ink can be printed after the printing of the nanotube coating. Because the binder ink is a separate step, reactive chemistries, solvents, or different coating methods that are not compatible with nanotube inks can be employed.
Just as nanotube inks can be tailored to meet application needs, binder inks also can be tailored to fit the customer’s needs. These coatings are capable of handling severe abrasion and imparting optical characteristics, like anti-reflectivity or index matching simply by choosing the appropriate binder. Eikos works with our customers to develop binders specific to their needs.