Printed electronics is the term used for a relatively new technology that defines the printing of electronic circuits and components on common media such as paper, plastic, and textile, using standard graphic arts printing processes and press equipment. But instead of using standard inks, newly developed electronic inks are used to print active devices, such as thin film transistors and thin printed batteries. Although the concept of printed electronics has been around for some time, recent advances in conductive ink chemistry and flexible substrates promise to deliver a flood of new markets and applications.
Leading-edge companies are currently using the technology to transform basic circuit elements, such as thin-film transistors, resistors, inductors, and capacitors into printed batteries, displays, sensors, RFID tags, interactive packaging, solar panels, and even speakers. Blue Spark Technologies is proud to be one of these printed electronics industry leaders.
Why Choose Printed Electronics?
The primary advantages of printed electronics include low cost, attractive and flexible form factor, ease of production and ease of integration.
In many industries, printed electronics technology is expected to facilitate widespread development of functional electronic devices which can be useful for applications not typically associated with conventional (i.e., silicon-based) electronics, such as flexible displays, smart labels, animated posters, novelty items and active clothing.
And, in a host of more conventional industry applications – such as battery-assisted active and passive RFID, and RF-enabled sensor and data logging systems – printed electronics can provide a lower cost alternative to traditional technology. The commercial potential for printed electronics is significant. IDTechEx, a leading analyst in the field of printed electronics and nano-technology, estimates that the worldwide market for printed and thin-film electronics will grow to $5 billion by 2011 and $48 billion by 2017.