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Printed Electronics World
Posted on May 12, 2006 by  & 

Analysis from Printed Electronics Europe 2006

Printed Electronics Europe in April 2006 was attended by a record audience of 230 delegates from 22 countries. It concentrated on commercialisation rather than academic research and the full picture of all printed electronics, not just organics. Indeed, it was revealed that inorganic electronic inks and materials are becoming more important.
As this industry, with a potential of at least double that of the silicon chip, grows up, the chemistry will disappear into the rear view mirror as commercialisation looms ahead. Constructions will variously incorporate organic, inorganic and combined chemistries, evolving as necessary, but all that is now a secondary matter when compared with production scale up, conceiving and marketing innovative new products and financing new businesses in printed electronics.
Printed electronics factories cost under ten million dollars and produce products in 2-3 days whereas silicon chip factories cost at least one billion dollars and still cannot produce products in less than 2-3 months.
A high proportion of the delegates represented companies intending to enter the field or relatively new to the field. Newly hot topics exposed at this conference included inorganic semiconductors and printing high mobility small molecules via precursors. Previously the latter had to be evaporated by slow, clunky vacuum processes.
Whereas most developers are still using ink jet, many speakers favoured gravure - a new development - and a significant number are trying offset and flexo with a few using pad and many using screen printing, for modest volumes at least. Several speakers said that lack of availability of suitable printed transistor circuits is impeding the commercialisation of their printed memory, photodetectors and other constructions. Sheet fed production is commonly favoured as a first step before reel to reel is contemplated, the point being well made that reel to reel is always limited by the slowest step.
Read our 13 page analysis of the progress discussed at Printed Electronics Europe in the May issue of Smart Labels Analyst - you can purchase the single issue with IDTechEx credits or buy a years subscription.
Further information can be found on IDTechEx and Printed Electronics at External Link. The next Printed Electronics conference will take place in Phoenix, USA on 5/6 December, 2006.

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Posted on: May 12, 2006

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