SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD. (President and Representative Director: Keita Kato; hereinafter, “SEKISUI”) is pleased to announce that its High Performance Plastics Company (President: Ikusuke Shimizu) has recently developed a transparent and flexible radio wave reflection film for 5G communications by combining the SEKISUI’s distinguished film and optical adhesive technologies with the metamaterial technology of Meta Materials Inc. (Headquartered in Canada, led by George Palikaras, CEO).
SEKISUI verified the radio wave environment of the film with collaboration from DOCOMO Innovations, Inc. (Headquartered in the U.S. and headed by Takashi Hara, CEO) and confirmed that the product, having unprecedentedly high transparency and radio wave diffusion characteristics, provides a wide frequency coverage useful for 5G and 6G communications.
1. Background of the development
In 5G and 6G radio wave communications, higher frequency ranges than conventional LTE (4G) services are used: Sub-6 (3.6 GHz or higher) and millimeter (24 GHz or higher) wave ranges. Millimeter waves feature a high transmission capacity but have strong directivity; when reaching a shielding object such as a building, they attenuate, deteriorating communications quality. Installing a base station or relay station may resolve the deterioration, but such a solution involves a high additional investment, and a more reasonable cost solution was demanded.
While millimeter wave reflection plates, which have a metamaterial copper pattern processed on the printed circuit board, have recently been developed as a possible measure for solving such a challenge, we directed attention to a transparent and flexible radio wave reflection film that would have a metamaterial structure and would not spoil the landscape. Believing that we would be able to provide a solution by incorporating our film and optical adhesive material technologies into such a transparent, flexible plate, SEKISUI has been committed to research and development efforts.
We have realized a transparent and flexible high-frequency radio wave reflection film, which can be used for not only millimeter wave ranges but also a wide range from 2 GHz to 60 GHz while featuring a total luminous transmittance of 95%, by integrating our technologies with Meta’s world-leading nano-patterned transparent metamaterial technology NANOWEB® (*1) and its manufacturing technology RML® (*2).
2. Outline of the developed product
This film consists of a metamaterial layer that has a high-frequency radio wave reflection structure, highly transparent adhesive, special coating that protects the film surface, and special adhesive layer.
When placed on a surface such as a wall or ceiling, the film reflects radio waves, enabling them to reach shielded areas. This technology can improve a communications environment at a lower cost and in a shorter period of time, compared with the installation of a base station or relay station. The film, which is transparent and flexible and does not require a power connection, can be installed anywhere, on a surface of whatever shape, without spoiling the appearance of where it is installed.
(1) Flexible film that reflects radio waves of sub 6 GHz to millimeter wave ranges.
(2) Transparent material that does not spoil the landscape, whether it is installed indoors or outdoors.
(3) Easy installation without the need of power connection. Improves communications infrastructure anywhere.
Representation of wave reflection
3. Effect demonstration experiment
Using the simulation technology of DOCOMO Innovations, Inc., SEKISUI verified the effects of the product in the planning stage and confirmed the effects indoors in the Solution Co-creation Lab of MIRAIT Corporation (Headquartered in Tokyo, headed by Toshiki Nakayama, President).
The demonstration experiment confirmed that a reflection film placed 30 meters away from the base station properly controls the reflection of the radio waves, thus improving the communications infrastructure across a wide area.
Indoor Radio Wave Environment Improvement Experiment Simulated by DOCOMO Innovations, Inc.
Indoor Radio Wave Environment Improvement Demonstration Experiment with Assistance provided by MIRAIT Corporation (28 GHz)
4. Future plans
Using the advantages of transparency, flexibility, light weight and operation without power connection, SEKISUI plans to distribute the product for use in office buildings, factories, shopping malls, medical and care facilities, various sports facilities, farms, ranches, smart cities, underground shopping streets, rolling stock and roadway infrastructure while exploring other applications, including temporary or emergency sites providing first-aid services, construction sites, and camping areas.
SEKISUI plans to start to distribute sample products in fiscal 2022, aiming to achieve a sales target of 6 billion yen by fiscal 2026.
This technology will be presented at the following trade shows:
• January 5–7, 2022 CES 2022 Meta Materials Inc. booth 9253, LVCC North Hall
• January 17–19, 2022 docomo Open House ’22
About Metamaterial Inc.
Meta Materials Inc. (NASDAQ:MMAT), a developer of high-performance functional materials and nanocomposites, delivers previously unachievable performance, across a range of applications, by inventing, designing, developing, and manufacturing sustainable, highly functional materials. META’s extensive technology platform enables leading global brands to deliver breakthrough products to their customers in consumer electronics, 5G communications, health and wellness, aerospace, automotive, and clean energy. META’s nano-optic technology provides anti-counterfeiting security features for government documents and currencies and authentication for brands. META’s achievements have been widely recognized, including being named a Lux Research Innovator of the Year in 2021.
About SEKISUI CHEMICAL
Headquartered in Japan, SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO. LTD and its subsidiaries make up the SEKISUI CHEMICAL GROUP. SEKISUI CHEMICAL has 26,577 employees in over 199 companies throughout 20 countries. In 2020 it had revenues of around $10 billion USD.
Thanks to a history of innovation, dedication and a pioneering spirit, SEKISUI CHEMICAL now holds leading positions in its three diverse business divisions, as well as the top global market shares in interlayer films, foam products, conductive particles, and other areas. Since its establishment in 1947, the SEKISUI CHEMICAL GROUP has dedicated itself to social and environmental contribution and is now an internationally recognized leader in sustainability and environmental initiatives.
*1 Metamaterial Inc.’s metamaterial technology NANOWEB®
*2 Metamaterial Inc.’s metamaterial manufacturing technology Rolling Mask Lithography-RML®」
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For inquiries about this release, write to the following:
SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD. Public Relations Department,
General Public Contact
SEKISUI CHEMICAL CO., LTD. High Performance Plastics Company,
Electronics Business Strategy Department
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This press release may contain forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements due to changes in global economic, business, competitive market and regulatory factors.