OxACs – A spin-out from the University of Oxford to Exploit the Growing Touch Screen Displays Market

Oxford Advanced Conductors (OxACs), is a spin-out from the University of Oxford. OxACs' state-of-the-art technology delivers novel, low-cost and high-performance optoelectronic thin film coatings for touch screen and other display applications through both a zinc oxide-based coating to replace expensive indium tin oxide (ITO) and an easier, more eco-friendly, and sustainable manufacturing process. Touch screen displays are experiencing an enormous growth. However, sustainability and price concerns are mounting about indium, a rare and geopolitically sensitive material. At a price of $5/Kg, zinc is at least two orders of magnitude cheaper than indium, which is currently traded at $750/Kg.

At San Diego’s forthcoming DisplayWeek’14 (See below) OxACs will demonstrate its new technological innovations aimed at significantly lowering manufacturing costs for information display and related technologies. OxACs' conducting coatings, based upon our patented SiZOTM (Silicon Zinc Oxide) technology, are laser patterned and manufactured into high quality touch panel devices. SiZOTM touch panels will provide on-site demonstrations of the high performance of this new, emerging technology, produced at significantly lower cost compared to ITO and deposited both by conventional vacuum manufacturing technology as well as by our proprietary ambient pressure spray-pyrolysis technology.

OxACs demo touch panel sensors will drive an interactive device allowing our guests to experience at first hand the functionality and performance of SiZOTM transparent conducting coated films in an interactive and informative way.



OxACs Innovation: OxACs have demonstrated that silicon (as simply SiO2) acts as a highly effective n-type dopant in zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film coatings prepared by both vacuum-phase deposition and solution-phase (non-vacuum) deposition techniques. The doping effect arises due to a substitution of Si4+ for Zn2+ sites in the ZnO host crystal structure. Si doping thereby acts to release free electron carriers in ZnO thus leading to SiZO’sTM excellent optoelectronic performance (see diagram).

In one sphere of its operations, OxACs employs vacuum phase sputtering using a SiZOTM target to deposit high quality TCO films on a range of substrates. By this route, SiZOTM now emerges as a lower cost, direct replacement for sputtered ITO in established industries, where the customer needs only to substitute their current TCO material for SiZOTM and retain existing processes.

A second OxACs innovation is the manufacture of SiZOTM conductive films by spray pyrolysis deposition. Using novel precursors and processes, conducting films are sprayed onto substrates by a more sustainable, green and low-cost method, many times faster than vacuum sputtering. Adopting spray deposition of SiZOTM coatings will not only reduce costs for existing producers and users of transparent conductors but also open up the production of large-area conductive films to a wider market.

The touch screen display market is growing rapidly and is predicted to exceed $20 billion by the end of the decade. OxACs is well placed to take a significant share of this market as a high performance TCO at a lower price. We would be delighted to see you at DisplayWeek’14 Exhibition, on June 3-4 at the San Diego Convention Centre to demonstrate our technology.