Printable Electronics: A Survey of the Players in the Market
Volume 5, Issue 1
Stefan Preisler, University of Applied Science in Berlin, Germany
Gerd Lange, University of Applied Science in Berlin, Germany
A major shift has begun in the electronics industry. The electronics products manufactured over the last several decades are approaching their performance limits and additional advances are increasingly expensive. Consumers are demanding a new generation of electronics products that are flexible, higher performance, more energy efficient, and lower priced. To answer this call, the electronics industry is moving to a radically different approach called printable electronics (PE). Under this new approach, ex-pensive starting materials and complex semiconductor manufacturing processes are replaced with low cost, solution based deposition techniques, like inkjet printing and roll-to-roll coating. Manufacturing facilities that once cost billions of dollars will be replaced by high-volume roll-to-roll facilities that print circuits at a fraction of the cost. Products on the near horizon range from displays that roll up to electronic magazines and RFID tags. In this article, Stefan Preisler and Gerd Lange survey the emerging PE industry. They describe the market applications for PE, technologies giving rise to PE, and related commercialization challenges. The authors also provide data from a survey of PE companies.
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