CANATU solutions is the leader in the 3D formable and bendable transparent conductive films and touch sensors

Shaping surfaces into experiences boosting the interaction in HMI


Canatu’s unique film and sensor solutions bring the interaction to the next level for 3D shaped and double curved devices in different industries.

Design Freedom
Canatu products combined with thermoforming, optical bonding and injection molding create unlimited possibilities for you to design innovative seamless and robust structures to any surface.

Intuitive User Experience
Canatu brings surfaces to life. Touch on 3D surfaces, like finger guides, results in natural user interaction. Intuitive tactile solutions enable non-distracted usability in all devices as well as improved safety in driving.

Superior Technology
Canatu’s touch products are highly stretchable and bendable. The high optical performance – the zero reflectance and haze – ensures high contrast and readability even in direct sunlight. The 3D thin form offers seamless design, lighter and robust structures, and greater space utilization compared to traditional technology. The unique CNB™ technology supports both ecological and sustainable manufacturing.



The challenge of the icon based touch interfaces is the requirement of full attention of the driver. Canatu aims to not only have seamless designs but also safety for the drivers. The unique CNB free form film and sensor technologies enable the designers a freedom to bring the car interior to life, with revolutionary solutions such as 3D touch surfaces and finger guides. The driver can find and feel the finger guides intuitively without an extreme attention, meaning the driver can use the controls effortlessly, while keeping his focus on driving.

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The unique combination of stretching and bending capabilities free the designers to create the car interiors exceptional experience and designs with the latest technologies. The user experience also remains future proof due to the upgrade possibilities of new technologies.

Large surfaces with good conductivity, excellent optical performance in direct sunlight and better ergonomics are only few of the improved user experience gains. This also enables lighter structures and greater space utilization compared to traditional technologies.


Utilize CNB free form film to make center console seamlessly 3-dimensional, fast to operate and optically high quality. Center Information Display can be combined with 3D finger guides and touch enabled navigation wheels that make big touch screen interaction more intuitive and easy to use while driving. CNB fixed (or curved) form can be used for flat or one directionally curved touch interfaces.

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Utilize CNB free form film to make your passenger display ergonomically reachable, perfect for different viewing angles and high contrast even in sunlight. It can be hidden till lit due to CNB material advantage that it does not reflect light back. While leaning back passenger can use a trackpad for navigating with the display.


Utilize CNB free form film to recognize when the driver has a hand on the steering wheel. Make steering wheel interaction intuitive with shaped touch enabled screen and buttons.


Utilize CNB free form film for thin and light touch enabled “3D buttons” to adjust your seat position, open and close windows and side view to adjust your camera mirrors.

Additional use possibilities of Canatu technology in automotive interior

Back seat entertainment displays: Utilize CNB free form film to make your back seat display seamlessly integrated to the shape of the seat, make the touch interface ergonomically reachable, have a perfect viewing experience even in sun light. It can be hidden till lit due to CNB material benefit that it does not reflect light back.

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Overhead console: Utilize CNB fixed (or curved) or free form film to make intuitive 3D touch controls, with thin and light structure. Get the perfect true white color due to minimal CNB film color shift.

Keys: Car keys are getting smart and multifunctional. Utilize the CNB free form film to make smart keys beautifully designed and intuitive to use.


The Technology

Formable to 3D shapes

Canatu CNB films and sensors can be thermoformed into extreme shapes. CNB films are highly stretchable, as Carbon NanoBud material stretches more than 200%. The maximum stretch rate depends on the substrate material. The CNB films enable deep draws and sharp bends: bending radius can be less than 1mm. 

Canatu CNB film and 2-layer sensor molded on glass

Display Grade

  • Specially optimized for high performance displays
  • High transmittance 90-98% (substrate normalized)
  • Excellent color neutrality
  • Non-visible sensor patterns
  • Low haze <0.5%

3D shaped touch lens on display

  • Multitouch
  • 2 CNB sensor layers with CNB Free Form Film
  • Thermoformed into desired free 3D form
  • Optically bonded to seamless front window with decoration and to the display

3D shaped touch sensor with surface features

  • Like controls, touch buttons, smart switches or sliders formed into ergonomic shapes
  • Typically 1 CNB layer with CNB Free Form Film
  • Can have several touch functions in the same sensor sheet
  • Can be integrated in the same sensor sheet as on-display multitouch sensor
  • Bonded to seamless front window with decoration and suitable backlighting
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CNB sensors are built using 1 sensor layer or 2 sensor layers

Canatu CNB film and 2-layer sensor molded on glass
1-layer sensor construction is used for switches, buttons, sliders, wheels (mutual or self capacitance)

1-layer sensor construction

2-layer sensors are for multitouch, with separate transmit and receive layers (mutual capacitance)

2-layer FF sensor construction

CNB Touch Sensors are formed and back-molded to make CNB touch modules.

Sensor on A surface of molded lens

Canatu CNB film and sensor molded

Display readability

Two special features of Carbon NanoBud® material make CNB™ films great for on-display use:
CNB™ Film is color-neutral, with almost flat transmittance spectrum. As a result, display colors do not get distorted in the CNB™ sensor. This is particularly important for white color as even small color changes of white are easily discernible by the eye.
Carbon NanoBud® material is pure black: if light falls directly on the NanoBud molecule, it gets totally absorbed, i.e. no reflection. Hence, in an optimized stack with high-performance substrates and bonding layers, CNB Films and Sensors do not reflect any light and the haze is zero. In practice, CNB sensor reflection is typically 0.0…0.3% and haze is 0.1… 0.5%, both very low values. The result is touch displays with deep black and high contrast even in bright ambient conditions.

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Canatu no reflection, no haze


Canatu has developed a new material, the Carbon NanoBud®, which is a hybrid of single wall Carbon Canatu NanoBud® MoleculeNanotubes and Fullerenes. The hybridization is achieved directly in the material synthesis process and the resulting material combines the best features of both Fullerenes and Nanotubes. NanoBud enables a variety of new components and applications to be developed.

NanoBud has tunable electrical conductivity, high strength, low density, high thermal and mechanical stability and high electrical and thermal conductivity like traditional carbon Nanotubes, but also high reactivity, low work function and chemical functionalizability like Fullerenes. In addition, they have been shown to be much superior field emitters than traditional nanotubes and have the added benefit that they need not be aligned for the purpose. This makes NanoBuds® ideal for a tremendous range of applications.



Raffaele Schiavullo
the authorRaffaele Schiavullo
ADMINISTRATOR - Senior 3D/Virtual Reality Specialist and Automotive HMI developer - Working in London and "insanely" passionate about technology and its creative applications


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