GLEN ALLEN, Va., 18 June 2008. Applied printed electronics is evolving rapidly towards real commercial products and will need materials in commercial quantities over the next year or so, say analysts at market researcher NanoMarkets in Glen Allen, Va.
NanoMarkets officials made their prediction this week in a report from the firm's Printed Electronics Materials Database, which provides a near-term outlook for the print electronics materials business.
The report identifies the business opportunities in five key segments of the digital print electronics materials business: conductive metallic inks, printed organic materials, printed silicon, inks that use nanomaterials and substrate materials.
The report analyzes the implications for printed electronics of important developments such as the high price of silver, R&D in organic materials and nanomaterials, and the imminent commercialization of printed silicon and printed electronics on paper. It also takes a look at what some of the most materials firms are doing to further the evolution of printed electronics.
In this report, NanoMarkets has identified three key trends that are shaping the emerging printed electronics market.
The first trend involves a growing number of materials are being turned into inks and thus bringing the advantages of printing to more segments of the electronics industry. The report discusses the role played by inks made from silicon, carbon nanotubes and hybrid materials such as silver-plated copper, or dye sensitive photovoltaic materials.
The second trend involves a printed electronics industry that is learning from the established semiconductor industry. Silicon inks are emerging as a viable way to create thin-film transistors, while transfer printing opens up roads to fabricate sophisticated silicon devices on flexible substrates. Printed silicon is a challenge to the organic electronics paradigm, but also an inspiration as technology developers borrow concepts such as CMOS and materials sets from the silicon world and transfer them to organic electronics.
The third trend involves nanomaterials that are establishing themselves as a way forward for printed electronics in several ways. Inks using metallic nanoparticles promise higher conductivities and lower curing temperatures, nanosilicon inks may prove the best route to printed silicon, and carbon nanotube inks open up interesting possibilities for ITO replacements, lighting and even emissive displays.
For more information contact NanoMarkets online at www.nanomarkets.net.