Maria Cann, UK
Maria completed her BSc in Physics in 2008 at the University of Leicester, specialising in Nanotechnology. After gaining industrial experience working as a laser engineer, she joined M-Solv Ltd in 2011 to study for her EngD in Micro and Nano Materials and Technologies (MinMaT) through the University of Surrey. Her focus has been on developing nano-particle based transparent conductors for use in touch sensor applications. This has seen her gain expertise in low cost, scalable deposition of a number of nanomaterials including graphene, carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires. She has gone on to develop laser ablation processes for these materials, demonstrating scalable processing of these novel materials to make functioning electronic devices. Upon completing her EngD in September 2015 she will continue working at M-Solv to help realise the potential of nanomaterials in electronics manufacture.
Enhancement of silver nanowire transparent conductors for use in touch sensors
Development of a transparent conductor to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) in touch sensors is ongoing, and is hoped to allow lower deposition costs and manufacture of larger and more flexible sensors. A number of promising replacements have emerged, including percolating networks of silver nanowire.
Here, a scalable method for depositing silver nanowire films onto a variety of substrates is presented. Methods of improving the conductivity of deposited films are outlined, which minimises the material costs and improves transparency. The underlying mechanisms, behind these improvements are discussed and films with a transmission of 89.9% at a sheet resistance of 50 Ohms/square are produced as a result. A fully functioning multi-touch sensor is made from such a film by laser ablation of the nanowires, and demonstrates comparable performance to an ITO sensor.