SMTA International Conference Proceedings


READING THE FINE PRINT: CHALLENGES AND OUTLOOK FOR PRINTED ELECTRONICS

Authors: Charles E. Bauer, Ph.D., Herbert J. Neuhaus, Ph.D.
Company: TechLead Corporation
Date Published: 10/24/2010   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: Printed Electronics holds the promise of revolutionizing consumer goods, healthcare, publishing, lighting, energy generation and military systems and represents one of the world’s fastest growing technologies. Proponents suggest the use of conductive polymers on flexible substrates will enable electronics in places and form factors never before imagined. As with most emerging technologies, printed electronics market forecasts vary widely but all predictions agree the opportunities are very large.

Optimism dominates the published reports making critical assessments difficult. Will printed electronics become pervasive, and if so, when? What technical hurdles block market advances? How will printed electronics impact conventional electronics?

In this presentation, the authors review the current status of printed electronics technology emphasizing the challenges and opportunities facing practitioners. Beginning with a brief history of early applications such as membrane keyboards, battery testers, RFID antennas, novelties, games, and smart packages, the presentation develops the key concepts, drivers, trends, and markets associated with printed electronics. Next the authors identify and assess key material and printing technology developments and unsolved challenges including substrates, conductors, semiconductors, LEDS, photovoltaic and sensor materials, and ink-jet, flexo, offset, gravure and rotary screen printing technologies.

After a survey of leading edge activities from around the world, the presentation concludes with a critical assessment of the challenges and outlook for printed electronics that identifies specific technical issues and market opportunities critical to the future of printed electronics.

Key words: Printed Electronics



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