Printing Electronics Report

IDTechEx published a report, “Printing Electronics Sharply Improves Performance,” by Peter Harrop, Ph.D., chairman, outlining the advantages of thin films over traditional electronics.

IDTechEx published a report, “Printing Electronics Sharply Improves Performance,” by Peter Harrop, Ph.D., chairman, outlining the advantages of thin films over traditional electronics. Self-powered electronics is progressing rapidly as use of thin films, increasingly printed, improves performance by ten to one hundred times, states Harrop.

Thermovoltaic generators are much more efficient when made as thin films, the report argues. Piezoelectric generators are starting to be printed; DSSC solar cells printed reel to reel have high efficiency in low light levels and with light at narrow angles, unlike conventional silicon cells

Single-layer thin-film terahertz transistors outperform silicon ones by several magnitudes, adds Harrop. Some new laminar batteries have many times the capacity of coin cells. OLED and electrophoretic displays outperform conventional LCD, PDP, and other displays in several parameters. E-display and e-books are entering the market, creating a new media era.

There are thin-film versions of most electronic and electrical components that are transparent. They can go in previously impossible locations such as on the glass of a wristwatch, over the advertisements on a smart package, and on a window, Harrop notes. Even lighting can take the form of transparent film.

Because one can print a logic circuit, memory, loudspeaker, and microphone on top of each other, one can avoid all the connections necessitated by the silicon chip with conventional components wired to it, Harrop claims. Higher reliability can result as well as fault tolerance and size improvements.

Printed electronics has one tenth of the environmental issues of what went before and it can suit human implants to food packaging, employing changing surface texture, vibration, sound, moving color, aroma emission, and more with scrolled text in large fonts, prompting, etc. Volumes of trillions can be contemplated and typically cost reduction of ten to one hundred times over conventional electronics.

Morphing, stretchable, edible, and other electronics are on their way and a $300 billion potential market exists, says Harrop. Consumer, healthcare, military, and other products can be transformed. The IDTechEx Printed Electronics series of annual conferences includes Printed Electronics Europe in Dresden, Germany, April 7–8 2009 with an exhibition, investment summit, master classes, and visits to local leaders in printed and potentially printed electronics.

For more information on companies developing printed electronics, e-mail c.clare@idtechex.com and p.harrop@idtechex.com.

This article was originally published by SMT

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