The Market for Organic and Printed Electronics
Rapidly changing situation
A summary of the predominant chemistry being used and developed for the different device layers is given below. However, this is very much a changing situation. For example, Waseda University Japan has announced an organic flexible battery that charges in only one minute and many new organic electrolytes for thin film lithium batteries are coming along.
The predominance of different chemistries in printed and thin film electronics today. Inorganic is shown in dark green, organic in red and alternative/combined solutions in light green. White indicates where there in nothing. For example, a memory does not have an electrolyte.
Electrophoretics take a lead
Before flexible OLEDs are sold in volume, flexible electrophoretic displays are taking off. This is a very exciting segment of the market because these displays have no need for power until the image is being changed and they work well in strong sunlight. Indeed rigid versions are used in Motorola mobile phones in India. Leaders in electrophoretic displays include Prime View Technology in Taiwan, Toshiba in Japan, Innos/ Polymer Vision in the UK (first flexible versions in June 2007), Tainjin Jinke Electronics in China and, of course, Sony. They are ideal for shelf edge displays, road and airport signage, e-books, e-posters and many other applications. Note that most of these applications make new things possible and few of them replace anything electronic.
Ink suppliers E-ink, SiPix and others are working on colour versions and problems of life, sticky images etc are largely overcome, often by using combined organic/ inorganic constructions. Large areas are possible.
Clearly, the world of organic and printed electronics has become much more exciting in the last year and this will continue. Over 1000 organisations are now involved.
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