Friday, October 21, 2016
Publication Date: 12/1/2007
Archive >  December 2007 Issue >  Product Preview: Electronics West / MDM > 

3M: High-Volume Touch Sensors
Touch screen sensors on a roll.
San Diego, CA — 3M Touch Systems, Inc. has introduced its MicroTouch Flex Capacitive Touch Sensors, a polyester-based projected capacitive touch screen solution for high-volume mobile display products, such as cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, and personal navigation systems. The new sensor is manufactured in a roll-to-roll process by applying a variety of patent-pending Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) patterns on lightweight, cost-effective polyester film (PET).

The result is an incredibly thin, optically clear projected capacitive touch sensor available to device manufacturers in rolls containing up to 72,000 sensors, depending on size. The roll configuration provides manufacturers with optimal scalability for fluctuating product volumes and production flexibility for changes in product design, component stack-ups and compact integration requirements.

Easily customized into a variety of shapes and sizes, the sensors can also be designed for touch applications ranging from simple button operation to full X,Y touch screen capabilities.

Various material thicknesses are available to meet compact design requirements, currently ranging from 2mil to 5mil in thickness. These ultrathin touch sensors can be optically laminated to glass or polycarbonate lens for optimal surface durability with touch sensitivity "projected" through the lens. Or, by using hard coated polyester these sensors can work directly as lightweight touch screens for devices requiring a more economical and thinner touch profile.

The MicroTouch Flex Capacitive Touch Sensor joins an innovative touch product family from 3M that includes the MicroTouch ClearTek II Capacitive Touch System for public-use, self-service applications and the MicroTouch DST Touch System for large-format interactive LCD displays.

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