Printed Electronics Roadmap Leads in New Directions
The printed manganese dioxide zinc batteries from Blue Spark are being successfully incorporated into other printing processes. On the other hand, Samsung now has the world’s first 4.8 inch full colour active matrix PDLC display driven by printed organic transistors on a plastic substrate. Indeed, Thinfilm of Norway is well ahead with printed memory by depositing superior organic ferroelectrics and progressing to complete circuits.
The introduction of printable copper by several companies last year, including Novacentrix and intinsiq, has led to a race to replace silver inks, with their price hikes, in some applications such as antennas and transistor electrodes and interconnects. The alternative approach of using less silver by applying nano silver inks is also gaining traction. Much further down the line are CNT, graphene and other conductors and semiconductors offering even better performance. Meanwhile, Heraeus is leader in organic transparent conductive inks and allied products with its Clevios brand.
Change in deposition machinery
As for deposition, screen and inkjet printing are the most widely deployed for printed electronics but flexo and gravure and occasionally fast letterpress are now encountered. Sometimes, using regular printing machines with minimal modification is in prospect. For example, organic photovoltaics and OLEDs are relatively straightforward to print but they need very good barrier sealants against oxygen and water ingress. Fortunately companies such as Henkel have new advances in this area.
So how can one learn more about this tsunami wave of progress and meet the key people? The answer is simple. All the above companies are presenting or exhibiting at the world’s leading event on the subject “Printed Electronics Europe” in Düsseldorf Germany on April 5-6 (www.IDTechEx.com/peEUROPE). Add to that five presentations on printing electronics onto paper, for instance, and a large number on the new flexible photovoltaics.
There will be optional masterclasses and visits to centres of excellence in the subject on the day before and the day after the two day conference and exhibition. With an awards dinner and many other opportunities to network, free information and working samples, the event will be even more unmissable this year. See www.IDTechEx.com/peEUROPE for details.