NITTO DENKO GROUP CSR & Annual Report 2012

CSR & Annual Report 201224Renewed Participation in Japan’s NEDO Research & Development ProjectThe Nitto Denko Group had previously participated in 11 government research and development projects and in FY2011 participated in a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) project to develop and commercialize a process for the manufacture of flexible CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) solar cells. In this project, high-efficiency, low-cost next-generation flexible solar cells will be manufactured using a ribbon-like substrate in a high-speed thin film manufacturing process conducted in a vacuum. The commercialization of this process is expected to expand the range of applications in which solar cells can be used and make a major contribution to the realization of a low-carbon society. Nitto Denko Develops New Optical Touch Screen Sensor for “Smart” Stationery Using Optical Waveguide Technology(1) Handwriting DigitizationMany kinds of electronic stationery are sold in an attempt to meet the need for handwriting digitization. However, most of these devices require special pens or paper or need to be input with a scanner or camera, making them clumsy and difficult to use, which is one reason they have never really become that popular.The Nitto Denko Group has developed “smart” stationery with optical touch screen sensors using their optical waveguide technology. Consisting of what looks merely to be a thin frame, when placed on top of a piece of paper and written on, the device instantly transmits wirelessly what is written to any designated computer, etc., in the form of digital data. No special pen or paper is required. (2) Position Detected by Interrupting Beams of LightOptical waveguide technology is used in this optical touch screen sensor. The way this works is that light is emitted from a light source within the frame and passes along two sides of the frame and through optical waveguides, traveling in a lattice form to the light receiving elements along the other two sides of the frame. When the screen is touched, light passing through the optical waveguides is blocked in that area. This is detected by the light receiving elements, thus enabling the detection of the position touched (see Figure 1). By employing the latest in cutting-edge technology, such as fine-pitch pattern formation technology, lens molding technology and optical design technology, we have managed to create a thin, compact device that is able to accurately detect fine things such as the tip of a pen. The technology was well received when it made its debut at the 22nd International Stationery & Office Products Fair Tokyo that was held at Tokyo Big Site in July 2011.ResearchandDevelopment(Figure 1) Character recognition mechanismLight sourceOptical waveguidesLight-receiving elementsThe device is compact enough to fit in a small diary