Speeding innovation for industry
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PROTAVIC INTERNATIONAL, a subsidiary of PROTEX INTERNATIONAL, a manufacturer of high-added-value special industrial adhesives recognized for its investment in innovation, has begun manufacturing new products containing silver nanowires leveraging a technology successfully transferred to the manufacturer by the CEA.
Advances in flexible optoelectronic systems (Photovoltaic cells, flexbile displays, touch screens, etc.) have spurred the emergence of new high-growth markets, creating demand for new materials to replace conventional transparent conductive materials (Thin-layer metal oxides). Nanomaterials in solution—and, especially, metal nanowires—are a promising alternative offering the advantage of compatibility with low-cost large-area printing techniques.
Protavic International turned to the CEA for support integrating metal nanowires into its conductive resins and adhesives for the electronics industry (printed circuits, LEDs, smart cards, decoder boxes, etc.) to improve the products' conductivity. The CEA responded with know-how developed over more than a decade of research in the field.
Combined with PROTAVIC INTERNATIONAL's advanced formulation capabilities, the use of silver nanowires will enable the company to develop and customize new products for flexible transparent conductive electrodes, bringing manufacturers enhanced performance and differentiating applications for the functionalization of heating surfaces. The products are easy to integrate into manufacturing processes and offer an unrivalled combination of transparency, electrical conductivity, and flexibility, making them ideal for a wide range of uses, including heated helmet visors that eliminate frost and defogging systems for a variety of products.
The process of transferring the CEA's synthesis technology to PROTAVIC INTERNATIONAL was completed in late 2017.
Robert Moor, CEO, PROTAVIC INTERNATIONAL, said,
PROTAVIC INTERNATIONAL was already transforming silver at the microscopic scale for its conductive adhesives and resins for the electronics industry. The CEA's nanowire research met our in-house R&D needs and gave both partners an opportunity to work together to characterize nanowires in Protavic International products. The CEA's technology can benefit other markets as well, which led us to investigate nanowire fabrication and the transfer of a CEA technology to our plant in Château-Renault, in central France. The innovation has positioned us to release new products, like the Protavic® 28202, 28205, and 28206 lines and Protavic® VCO 20260, which are currently being produced in sample batches for testing by industrial customers with whom we have signed non-disclosure agreements. The test results have been promising, so we are very optimistic in terms of sales."
Florence Lambert, Director, CEA-Liten, said,
For nearly a decade the CEA has been investing in the development of micro and nanomaterials. These materials are crucial to the emergence of innovative products offering enhanced performance and/or new thermal, electrical, optical, and mechanical properties. We are thrilled to support PROTAVIC INTERNATIONAL's efforts to expand its product catalog using new high-potential materials from our labs."
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.