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Chemical industry makes headway in printed electronics

Posted: 20 Aug 2013  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:printed electronics  chemical and material companies  nano-electromechanical systems 

According to the latest report from IDTechEx, the chemical industry will end up with most of the added value from printed electronics, one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. Worth nearly $50 billion to the materials and chemicals industry in 2024, the resultant devices and processes are of vital interest to industries as diverse as consumer goods, healthcare, aerospace, electronics, media and transit, a breadth that reduces business risk, particularly if common formulations can be identified, stated the market analytics firm.

The term "printed electronics" embraces electrics as well as devices that employ thin films likely to be printed or coated with customised fine chemicals in future. It is allowing electronics to be used in places it has never been before because it is variously transparent, stretchable, biodegradable or on and in paper for instance. It is improving existing electronics and electrics.

One IDTechEx report is specifically designed to address the needs of chemical and materials companies. It addresses the need for chemical and material companies entering the new electrical and electronic product space, including printed electronics, to identify the most profitable and widely useful functional compounds and elements needed including allotropes of carbon. Morphologies, form factors, derivatives, reasons, trends and niche opportunities are examined so suppliers can de-risk their investment.

Thirty-seven disruptive new device families important to the chemical industry are analysed, from forms of flexible photovoltaics to fuel cells, artificial muscle, memristors, metamaterials, new forms of lithium battery and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS). The report determines the most important elements and compounds needed for them and the electrical functions that they perform, plus future trends and commonalities between formulations. Several of the world's largest chemical companies asked for this.

For example, the widest future use of fine inorganic and organic compounds and carbon allotropes in the new electrics and electronics is, in order of breadth of application, 1. Copper, 2. Aluminium, 3. Silver, 4. Polyethylenes, 5. Carbon nanotubes, 6. Graphene, 7. Indium compounds, Titanium compounds and Fluoropolymers, 8. Silicon compounds and 9. Zinc compounds, Polythiophenes.

On the other hand, those materials that are most versatile in electronic and electrical functions and therefore potentially providing widespread, high added value are identified as titanium compounds, zinc compounds and fluoropolymers.


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