At a time of financial uncertainty, companies know they must accelerate their move into the future. That is why there is a huge interest in printed electronics, a subject that pushes all the right buttons—environmental, affordable and leading to a new market of $300 billion that is just there for the taking. That is why the giant corporations are attending Printed Electronics USA, December 3-4 in San Jose, CA.

Electronic circuits that are wholly or substantially printed are a commercial success today. Brand enhancement is a popular theme, from the tester on a battery to the animated display on a recent edition of Esquire magazine and the heated outdoor apparel of many famous brands.

Across the world, the giant chemical corporations have been rapidly strengthening their position as producers of the new materials at the heart of printed electronics, an industry set to be over $300 billion. BASF has licensed in know-how and invested in a new producer of organic photovoltaic devices while Sumitomo Chemical, Akzo Nobel and Henkel have made acquisitions of appropriate organic and inorganic material suppliers. Merck Chemical has funded major new university research in inorganic materials for printed electronics in Germany. Kodak, Honeywell and DuPont have announced new electronic display materials with Bayer also gearing up as a supplier. In Japan the filing of

What are the killer applications for printed electronics? Which technologies are soon to be available in the marketplace and which are distant dreams? Is organic electronics the ultimate technology or does it now look as if inorganic and organic printed devices have a place? Are the traditional horizontal transistors the way forward or are the minority working on vertical transistors onto something? What are the crucial manufacturing technologies? The wealth of opportunity Concerning applications, Walt Bonneau of Cubic Corporation will talk at the world’s largest conference on the subject “Printed Electronics USA” in San Francisco, expressing his view that, “Printed Electronics offers a host

Nowadays, the term printed electronics is taken to include truly printed electronics but also thin film electronics that is potentially printable. Anything less and you miss the big picture. We include low cost electrical and electronic circuits with layers below 30 microns thick, even if currently deposited by vacuum techniques, spin coating, etc. Silicon chips and thin film silicon are not included because they are not potentially printable. However, the main emphasis is on circuits, interconnects and components already made with printing equipment, at least in part. Smart Media Products Most of the potential for printed electronics lies in what Toppan Forms calls

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