Chemical Industry Helping to Drive Printed Electronics

A major proportion of the added value from printed electronics, which is the fastest growing technologies in the world may end up in the chemical industry. Worth more than $50 billion to the chemicals and materials industry in 2024, the resultant processes and devices are of key interest to industries as diverse as healthcare, aerospace, consumer goods, healthcare, electronics, aerospace, transit and media. It is an approach that reduces business risk especially if chemical formulations can be identified.

The term "printed electronics" encompasses electrics along with devices that employ thin films likely to be coated or printed with customized fine chemicals in future. Electronics can be used in places never used before as it is stretchable, transparent, biodegradable or on and in paper for instance. It improves existing electrics and electronics.

New Report - De-Risk your Investment in Fine Chemicals

A new IDTechEx report is exclusively designed to address the needs of materials and chemical companies and researchers - Functional Materials for Future Electronics: Metals, Inorganic & Organic Compounds, Graphene, CNT. It is important for companies entering the new electronic and electrical product space including printed electronics to identify the most profitable and widely useful functional compounds and elements needed including allotropes of carbon. Derivatives, morphologies, form factors, trends, reasons and niche opportunities are examined so suppliers can de-risk their investment.

37 disruptive new device families important to the chemical industry are studied from flexible photovoltaic forms to artificial muscle, fuel cells, metamaterials, memristors, new forms of lithium battery and nano- electromechanical systems NEMS. The report examines the most important compounds and elements required for them and the electrical functions that they perform, plus future trends and commonalities between formulations. Most of the world’s largest companies requested for this.

For example, the extensive future use of fine inorganic and organic compounds and carbon allotropes in the new electrics and electronics is, in order of breadth of application are:

  1. Copper
  2. Aluminium
  3. Silver
  4. Polyethylenes
  5. Carbon nanotubes
  6. Graphene
  7. Indium compounds, Titanium compounds and Fluoropolymers
  8. Silicon compounds
  9. Zinc compounds, Polythiophenes

However, materials that are highly versatile in electrical and electronic functions and hence offering widespread, high added value are identified as titanium compounds, zinc compounds and fluoropolymers. Also IDTechEx has identified those that will be sold in the largest gross value over the next ten years, a category that includes those that are lithium and gallium compounds.

113 global organizations involved in carbon allotropes are profiled in the report for new electrics and electronics. While North American manufacturers focus more on SWCNTs; Asia and Europe, with Japan on top, are leading the production of MWCNTs with Showa Denko, Mitsui and Hodogaya Chemical being the largest companies.

Nano is spanned to very large devices by the new electrics and electronics. For instance, on the key enabling technologies printed electronics provides viable electronic billboard sheets and huge areas of unrolled photovoltaics in stretchable and conformal forms. There are new device chemistries and principles. Whether it is completely new forms of flat screen displays or re-invented lithium-ion batteries with completely different anode, cathode and electrolyte compounds, those at the start of the value chain tend to make higher margins than those making the devices themselves.

It is arbitrary whether some devices are really new since some are very old inventions in new forms or they have been in the wilderness for decades but are now ready for prime time. Others are experiments that may probably fail in the marketplace or technically. Others can choose a different choice of "new" device families but IDTechEx believes that they would reach much the same conclusions with regards to the league table of substances required.

Elements and Compounds for the Coming Decade

According to IDTechEx, metals that will be most extensively used over the coming decade are copper, silver and aluminium notably for conductive patterning in interconnects, electrodes, antennas and actuators. Silicon will be the inorganic elemental semiconductor most in demand in the new electronics. It mainly takes new forms such as ink. The numerous fine chemical functions in the new electronics and electrics are annotated in the report that include adhesive, active electrode, active substrate, binder, barrier layer, electroactive material or dielectric elastomer, electrochemical membrane, electrolyte, electret, ferroelectric memory and many more.

IDTechEx discovered that out of the opportunities for inorganic compounds lithium salts for lithium-ion batteries are particularly complex, changing in formulation and morphology and growing in large demand. IDTechEx hence offers a further analysis of this opportunity. In the report, there is a comparison of 138 lithium-based rechargeable battery manufacturers and the 15 key compounds and elements they use and develop, with cathode and anode chemistry, electrolyte morphology, cell format and form of materials used.

Printed Electronics, USA

Printed Electronics USA is the world's largest event on the topic and attended by more buyers than any other and is taking place in Santa Clara, CA, on November 20-21. It is co-located with a number of satellite events and parallel conference sessions on related topics such as OLEDs, graphene, and supercapacitors. The international tradeshow, with more than 150 exhibitors, will cover all the technologies throughout the entire supply chain across all major component types.

About IDTechEX Ltd

IDTechEx gives strictly independent marketing, technical and business advice and services in three forms - consulting, research and events, covering:

  • Printed, organic and flexible electronics
  • RFID and wireless sensors
  • Electric vehicles
  • Energy Harvesting and Storage
  • Photovoltaics
  • Smart Packaging

IDTechEX's work includes technology and market benchmarking, analysis of companies, due diligence, in-company masterclasses and global research.

IDTechEx consultants travel extensively, visiting many conferences, universities and companies to learn and interpret the latest information for you.

In addition, IDTechEX provide syndicated research reports and host the worlds leading events on these topics.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by IDTechEX.

For more information on this source, please visit IDTechEX.

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