Inorganic and Composite Printed Electronics 2012-2022: Needs, Opportunities, Forecasts

Inorganic and Composite Printed Electronics 2014-2024

IDTechEX, Date of Publication: Dec 3, 2014, 296 Pages

There is increasing work on printed inorganics as people struggle with the performance of organics in some aspects. For conductors with vastly better conductance and cost, for the best printed batteries, for quantum dot devices and for transistor semiconductors with ten times the mobility, look to the new inorganics. That is the emerging world of new nanoparticle metal and alloy inks that are magnitudes superior in cost, conductivity and stability, such as the flexible zinc oxide based transistor semiconductors working at ten times the frequency and with best stability and life, along with many other inorganic materials. Read the world's only report that pulls all this together in readable form.
This report critically compares the options, the trends and the emerging applications. It is the first in the world to comprehensively cover this exciting growth area. The emphasis is on technology basics, commercialisation and the key players.
This report is suitable for all companies developing or interested in the opportunity of printed or thin film electronics materials, manufacturing technologies or complete device fabrication and integration.

Market forecasts

This research forecasts a market of $75 billion for printed electronics by 2024 and that market is expected to be more or less evenly divided between organic and inorganic materials.
This report reveals the rapidly increasing opportunities for inorganic and composite chemicals in the new printed electronics, given that so much of the limelight is on organics. Inorganics encompass various metals, metal oxides as transparent conductors (such as fluorine tin oxide or indium tin oxide, extensively used in displays and photovoltaic technologies) or transistor materials as well as nano-silicon or copper and silver inks, whether in particle or flake form. Then there are inorganic quantum dots, carbon structures such as graphene, nanotubes and the various buckyballs etc. However, there is much more, from light emitting materials to battery elements and the amazing new meta-materials that render things invisible and lead to previously impossible forms of electronics.
The market for inorganic versus organic electronics defined by chemistry of key element*

printed electronics industry report

*For the full forecast data please purchase this report
Over the next ten years, improvements in inorganic conductors such as the use of nanotechnology and the lack of improvement of the very poorly conductive and expensive organic alternatives means that inorganics will be preferred for most conductors whether for electrodes, antennas, touch buttons, interconnects or for other purposes. By contrast, organic substrates for flexible electronics such as low cost polyester film and paper will be preferred in most cases because they are light weight, low cost and have a wide range of mechanical flexibility. The use of inorganic substrates such as glass represents a fall-back particularly required where there is failure to reduce processing temperatures. Here stainless steel foil printed reel to reel is an improvement, where possible.

Technologies covered

The report considers inorganic printed and thin film electronics for displays, lighting, semiconductors, sensors, conductors, photovoltaics, batteries and memory giving detailed company profiles not available elsewhere. The coverage is global - with companies from East Asia to Europe to America all included.
The application of the technology in relation to other types such as organic electronics and silicon chips is given, with detailed information clearly summarised in many tables and figures.

Elements being targeted

In order to meet the widening variety of needs for printed and potentially printed electronics, not least in flexible, low cost form, a rapidly increasing number of elements are being brought to bear. Oxides, amorphous mixtures and alloys are particularly in evidence. Even the so-called organic devices such as OLEDs variously employ such materials as B, Al and Ti oxides and nitrides as barrier layers against water and oxygen, Al, Cu, Ag and indium tin oxide as conductors, Ca or Mg cathodes and CoFe nanodots, Ir and Eu in light emitting layers, for example.
This report is essential for all those wishing to understand this technology, the players, opportunities and applications, to ensure they are not surpassed.

This report purchase includes up to 30 minutes telephone time with an expert analyst who will help you link key findings in the report to the business issues you're addressing. This needs to be used within three months of purchasing the report.



1.1. Printed electronics
1.2. Mainly inorganic
1.3. The opportunity for chemical companies
1.4. Inorganic vs organic
1.5. Photovoltaics
1.6. Progress with Semiconductors
1.6.1. Oxide Semiconductors
1.6.2. Carbon Nanotubes
1.6.3. Organics
1.6.4. Others
1.7. Printed electronics needs new design rules
1.7.1. Metamaterials, nantennas and memristors
1.8. Inorganic compounds for future 2D crystal devices


2.1. Printed electronics - reasons why
2.2. Impact of printed electronics on conventional electronics
2.3. Progress so far
2.3.1. The age of silicon
2.3.2. The dream of organic electronics
2.3.3. The example of smart clothing
2.3.4. Slow progress with organic conductors
2.3.5. Boron nitride - tailoring carbon composites
2.3.6. Molybdenum disulfide
2.4. The new inorganic printed and thin film devices
2.4.1. Rapidly widening choice of elements - déjà vu
2.4.2. Metamaterial solar cells and sensors
2.4.3. Example - printed lighting
2.4.4. Example - printed photodetectors
2.4.5. Inorganic barrier layers - alumina, silicon nitride, boron nitride etc


3.1. Inorganic compound semiconductors for transistors
3.1.1. Learning how to print inorganic compound transistors
3.1.2. Zinc oxide based transistor semiconductors and Samsung breakthrough
3.1.3. Aluminium oxide n type transistor semiconductor
3.1.4. Amorphous InGaZnO
3.1.5. Gallium-indium hydroxide nanoclusters
3.1.6. Gallium arsenide semiconductors for transistors
3.1.7. Transfer printing silicon and gallium arsenide on film
3.1.8. Silicon nanoparticle ink
3.1.9. Molybdenite transistors at EPFL Lausanne
3.1.10. Carbon nanotube TFTs at SWeNT
3.2. Inorganic dielectrics for transistors
3.2.1. Solution processed barium titanate nanocomposite
3.2.2. Alternative inorganic dielectrics HafSOx etc
3.2.3. Hybrid inorganic dielectrics - zirconia
3.2.4. Hafnium oxide - latest work
3.2.5. Aluminium, lanthanum and other oxides
3.3. Hewlett Packard prints aSi backplanes reel to reel
3.4. Inorganic transistors on paper
3.5. Progress Towards p-type Metal Oxide Semiconductors
3.6. High-Mobility Ambipolar Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Transistors
3.7. Hybrid inorganic/organic transistors and memory
3.7.1. Resistive switching
3.7.2. Oxides as anodes
3.8. Do organic transistors have a future?
3.9. Latest progress
3.9.1. Oxide Semiconductors
3.9.2. Carbon Nanotubes
3.9.3. Organics
3.9.4. Nickel oxide transistors and sensors
3.9.5. Inorganic transistors for ubiquitous RFID
3.9.6. Others


4.1. Performance criteria and limitations of silicon photovoltaics
4.2. Comparison of photovoltaic technologies
4.3. Non-silicon inorganic options
4.3.1. Lowest cost solar cells - CuSnZnSSe?
4.3.2. Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS)
4.3.3. Gallium arsenide
4.3.4. Gallium arsenide - germanium
4.3.5. Gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide
4.3.6. Cadmium telluride and cadmium selenide
4.3.7. Bismuth ferrite - new principle of operation
4.3.8. Porous zinc oxide
4.3.9. Polymer-quantum dot devices CdSe, CdSe/ZnS, PbS, PbSe
4.3.10. Cuprous oxide PV
4.3.11. Other inorganic semiconductors for PV
4.4. Inorganic-organic and carbon-organic formulations
4.4.1. Titanium dioxide Dye Sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC)
4.4.2. Zinc oxide DSCC photovoltaics
4.4.3. Development of high-performance organic-dye sensitized solar cells
4.4.4. Fullerene enhanced polymers
4.5. Other recent advances
4.6. Cobalt, phosphate and ITO to store the energy
4.7. Major US funding for thin Si, CIGS/ZnMnO, DSSC photovoltaics
4.8. Nanoplasmonic silicon film photovoltaics


5.1. Printing large rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors
5.2. Applications of laminar batteries
5.3. Technology and developers
5.3.1. All-inorganic printed lithium electric vehicle battery: Planar Energy
5.3.2. Battery overview
5.3.3. Blue Spark Technologies, USA
5.3.4. CEA Liten
5.3.5. Enfucell
5.3.6. Imprint
5.3.7. Infinite Power Solutions, USA
5.3.8. Printed battery research
5.3.9. Rocket Electric, Bexel, Samsung, LG Chemicals and micro SKC batteries for Ubiquitous Sensor Networks
5.3.10. SCI, USA
5.3.11. Showa Denko KK Japan
5.3.12. Solicore, USA
5.3.13. The Paper Battery Co
5.3.14. Zirconium disulphide
5.4. Smart skin patches
5.5. Nano metal oxides with carbon create new supercapacitor


6.1. Silver, indium tin oxide and general comparisons.
6.2. Conductor deposition technologies
6.3. Breakthroughs in printing copper
6.3.1. Challenges with copper
6.3.2. University of Helsinki
6.3.3. NanoDynamics
6.3.4. Applied Nanotech Holdings
6.3.5. Samsung Electro-Mechanics
6.3.6. Intrinsiq announces nano copper for printing
6.3.7. NovaCentrix
6.3.8. Hitachi Chemical
6.4. Conductive Inks
6.5. Progress with new conductive ink chemistries and cure processes
6.5.1. Novacentrix PulseForge
6.6. Pre-Deposit Images in Metal PDIM
6.7. Transparent conductors/electrodes by metal patterning and transparent materials
6.7.1. Metal patterning
6.7.2. Nanocarbon hybrid transparent electrodes
6.8. Transparent conductors by growth of metal
6.9. Particle-free silver inks
6.9.1. University of Illinois
6.10. Printed conductors for RFID tag antennas
6.10.1. Print resolutions required for high performance RFID tag antennas
6.10.2. Process cost comparison
6.10.3. RFID tag manufacture consolidation and leaders
6.11. Printing wide area sensors and their memory: Polyscene, Polyapply, 3Plast, PriMeBits, Motorola
6.12. Phase Change Memory, Cu and Ti oxides etc
6.13. Printing metamaterials
6.14. Quantum Tunneling Composites (QTC)
6.15. Flexible memristors
6.16. Company profiles
6.16.1. ASK
6.16.2. Poly-Flex
6.16.3. Avery Dennison
6.16.4. Sun Chemical (Coates Circuit Products)
6.16.5. Mark Andy
6.16.6. InTune (formerly UPM Raflatac)
6.16.7. Stork Prints
6.17. Aerosol jet printing by Optomec
6.18. Electroless plating and electroplating technologies
6.18.1. Conductive Inkjet Technology
6.18.2. Meco
6.18.3. Additive Process Technologies Ltd
6.18.4. Ertek
6.18.5. Leonhard Kurz
6.18.6. Hanita Coatings
6.19. Polymer - metal suspensions
6.20. Comparison of options
6.21. Dry Phase Patterning (DPP)
6.22. Inorganic biomedical sensors
6.22.1. Disposable blocked artery sensors
6.22.2. Disposable asthma analysis


7.1. Nanotubes
7.2. At Stanford, nanotubes + ink + paper = instant battery
7.3. Carbon Nanotubes and printed electronics
7.4. Developers of Carbon Nanotubes for Printed Electronics
7.5. Nanorods in photovoltaics
7.6. Zinc oxide nanorod semiconductors
7.7. Zinc oxide nano-lasers
7.8. Indium oxide nanowires
7.9. Zinc oxide nanorod piezo power
7.10. Zinx oxide piezotronic transistors


8.1. AC Electroluminescent
8.1.1. Fully flexible electroluminescent displays
8.1.2. Watch displays
8.1.3. MorphTouch™ from MFLEX
8.1.4. Electroluminescent and other printed displays
8.2. Thermochromic
8.2.1. Heat generation and sensitivity
8.2.2. Duracell battery testers
8.3. Electrophoretic
8.3.1. Background
8.3.2. Applications of E-paper displays
8.3.3. Electrochromic E-Paper using ZnO Nanowire Array
8.3.4. The Killer Application
8.4. Colour electrophoretics
8.5. Inorganic LED lighting and hybrid OLED
8.5.1. Nth Degree Technologies - printing LED lighting
8.5.2. Tungsten oxide OLED Hole Transport layer
8.6. Affordable electronic window shutters
8.7. Quantum dot lighting and displays


9.1. Boeing Spectrolab
9.2. Cambrios
9.3. DaiNippon Printing
9.4. Evonik
9.5. G24i
9.6. Hewlett Packard
9.7. InkTec
9.8. ITRI Taiwan
9.9. Kovio Inc
9.10. Miasolé
9.11. NanoForge
9.12. Nanogram Teijin
9.13. NanoMas Technologies
9.14. Peratech
9.15. Samsung
9.16. Soligie
9.17. Toppan Forms


10.1. Market forecasts 2014-2024
10.2. Materials
10.3. Devices
10.3.1. Photovoltaics
10.3.2. Other products


1.1. The market for inorganic versus organic electronics defined by chemistry of key element 2014 2024
1.2. Printed electronics materials and other elements of device income 2014-2024 in billions of dollars
1.3. Examples of inorganic materials needed for printed electronics and their suppliers.
1.4. Comparison of the more challenging inorganic and organic materials used in printed and potentially printed electronics
1.5. Typical quantum dot materials from Evident Technologies and their likely application.
1.6. The leading photovoltaic technologies compared
2.1. Comparison of thin film silicon and organic thin films as transistor semiconductors.
3.1. Comparison of printed polymer ink used in pilot production of organic transistors vs two thin film inorganic semiconductors for transistors vs nanosilicon ink
3.2. Some of the organisations developing zinc oxide transistors
3.3. Some properties of new thin film dielectrics
3.4. Benefits and challenges of R2R electronics fabrication
3.5. Printing choices
4.1. Efficiency vs deliverable output power
4.2. Efficiencies for thin film solar cells
4.3. Technology comparison between inorganic and other photovoltaic cells on plastic film
4.4. Summary of some of the important performance criteria for photovoltaics by type
4.5. Some recent results for inorganic and organic-fullerene photovoltaic cells
4.6. Companies pursuing industrial production of CIGS photovoltaics
4.7. Quantum Dots Available
4.8. Typical quantum dot materials from Evident and their likely application.
4.9. Thin film market share module cost by technology
5.1. Inorganic materials now used for cathodes and anodes of lithium-ion and "rechargeable lithium" (lithium metal rechargeable) batteries
5.2. Some examples of marketing thrust for laminar batteries
5.3. Shapes of battery for small RFID tags advantages and disadvantages
5.4. Examples of suppliers of coin type batteries by country
5.5. The spectrum of choice of technologies for batteries in smart packaging
5.6. Examples of potential sources of flexible thin film batteries
5.7. Examples of universities and research centres developing laminar batteries
5.8. The four generations of delivery skin patches
5.9. Examples of drugs and cosmetics applied by company using iontophoresis
6.1. Main applications of conductive inks and some major suppliers today
6.2. Different options for printing electronics, level of success and examples of companies
6.3. Comparison of metal etch (e.g. copper and aluminium) conductor choices
6.4. Electroless metal plate - Additive print process with weakly conductive ink (e.g. plastics or carbon) followed by wet metal plating
6.5. Electro metal plate - Additive print process with weakly conductive ink (e.g. plastics or carbon) followed by dry metal plating
6.6. Printable metallic conductors cure at LT e.g. silver based ink
6.7. Parameters for metal ink choices
6.8. Examples of suppliers for metal (mainly silver) PTF inks
6.9. Examples of companies progressing printed RFID antennas etc
6.10. Some companies progressing ink jettable conductors
6.11. Process Cost Comparison 1 - low volume - GB £ /sq metre web production - Antenna on substrate only
6.12. Cost breakdown of an average RFID tag in 2004 and target
6.13. Possibilities for various new printed conductors.
7.1. Charge carrier mobility of carbon nanotubes compared with alternatives
7.2. Developers of Carbon Nanotubes for Printed Electronics
8.1. Advantages and disadvantages of electrophoretic displays
8.2. Comparison between OLEDs and E-Ink of various parameters
10.1. The market for inorganic versus organic electronics defined by chemistry of key element 2014 2024
10.2. Percentage share as a whole of the market 2014-2024
10.3. Printed electronics materials and other elements of device income 2014-2024 in billions of dollars
10.4. Market forecast by component type for 2014-2024 in US $ billions, for printed and potentially printed electronics including organic, inorganic and composites
10.5. Market size for thin film photovoltaic technologies beyond silicon technologies % of the market that is printed and flexible


1.1. Growth of the market for silicon chips compared with IDTechEx projections for printed and potentially printed electronics and electrics
1.2. Some of the most promising elements employed in research and production
1.3. The market for inorganic versus organic electronics defined by chemistry of key element 2014 2024
1.4. Printed electronics materials and other elements of device income 2014-2024
1.5. The increasing potential of progress towards the printing of electric and electronic devices
1.6. Attributes and problems of inorganic, hybrid and organic thin film electronics form a spectrum.
1.7. Likely impact of inorganic printed and potentially printed technology to 2020 - dominant technology by device and element
1.8. Mass production of flexible thin film electronic devices using the three generations of technology
1.9. Strategy options for chemical companies seeking a major share of the printed electronics market, with examples.
1.10. Metal interconnect and antennas on a BlueSpark printed manganese dioxide zinc battery supporting integral antenna and interconnects.
2.1. SuperPanoramic cockpit with closable opaque layer - a concept of the US Air Force
2.2. US Warfighter's back pack must reduce in weight. Wrist displays, printed antennas, batteries, electronics and power generation will be part of this.
2.3. The different impact of the new printed electronics on various existing electric and electronic markets
2.4. Organic electronics - the dream
2.5. Attributes and problems of inorganic, hybrid and organic thin film electronics form a spectrum
2.6. Elements employed in the silicon chip business where blue refers to before the 1990s, green for since the 1990s and red for beyond 2005.
2.7. Projections for flexible printed and thin film lighting 2007-2025
2.8. Tera-Barrier's barrier stack
3.1. Transparent inorganic transistor
3.2. Example of ZnO based transistor circuit.
3.3. Using a nanolaminate as an e-platform
3.4. TEM images of solution processed nanolaminates
3.5. Cross-sectional schematic view of an amorphous oxide TFT
3.6. Transparent and flexible active matrix backplanes fabricated on PEN films
3.7. Molecular precursors synthesized at the University of Oregon
3.8. Semprius transfer printing
3.9. Performance of Kovio's ink versus others by mobility
3.10. Road map
3.11. Molybdenite transistor from EPFL Lausanne
3.12. Hybrid organic-inorganic transistor and right dual dielectric transistor
3.13. Web as clean room
3.14. The basic imprint lithography process
3.15. Zinc oxide transistors printed on to paper
3.16. SEM image of p-type ZnO nanowires
4.1. Wafer vs thin film photovoltaics
4.2. Summary of the applicational requirements for the large potential markets
4.3. Progress in improving the efficiency of the different types of photovoltaic cell 1975-2011
4.4. CIGS photovoltaic cell configuration that is not yet printed. Nanosolar now prints similar structures reel to reel.
4.5. CIGS-CGS absorber layer
4.6. Roll to roll production of CIGS on metal or polyimide film
4.7. An example of flexible, lightweight CdTe photovoltaics on polymer film
4.8. Mass production of flexible thin film electronic devices using the three generations of technology.
4.9. A typical DSSC construction
4.10. Solar cell researchers
4.11. Fullerene-pentacene photovoltaic device
4.12. Advantages of Pulse Thermal Processing (PTP)
5.1. Reel to reel printing of Blue Spark Technologies batteries
5.2. Carbon zinc thin film battery from Blue Spark Technologies
5.3. Inorganic micro-battery development by CEA Liten, illustrating the various chemistries
5.4. CEA Liten Li-Ion battery development
5.5. The Infinite Power battery is very small
5.6. Infinite Power batteries ready for use
5.7. IPS Thinergy rechargeable, solid-state lithium batteries
5.8. Examples of smart skin patches.
5.9. The Estee Lauder smart cosmetic patch with printed inorganic battery and electrodes launched in 2006 a three pack costing $50 and an eight pack costing $100
5.10. The ultimate dream for smart skin patches for drugs - closed loop automated treatment
5.11. Evolution of smart skin patches
6.1. Typical SEM images of Copper flake C1 6000F.
6.2. Industrial Inkjet Printhead and nano-Cu ink developed by Samsung Electro-Mechanics
6.3. Silver-based ink as printed and after curing
6.4. Conductance in ohms per square for the different printable conductive materials compared with bulk metal
6.5. Loading for spherical conductive fillers
6.6. Typical SEM images of CU flake C1 6000F. Copper flake
6.7. PolyIC approach to patterned transparent electrodes
6.8. Caledon Controls transparent conductive film using printed metal patterning.
6.9. Choice of printing technology for RFID antennas today
6.10. Projected tag assembly costs from Alien Technology in US Cents for volumes of several billions of tags
6.11. Fabric memristors
6.12. Memristors: basis of the human brain
6.13. The test arrays were constructed of an 8×8 grid of transistor-memristor cells
6.14. How negative refractive index works
6.15. How to make a working printed metamaterial
6.16. Printed metal patterning to form metamaterial
6.17. Flexible memristor
6.18. Meco's Flex Antenna Plating (FAP) machine
6.19. APT's FFD prototype can operate faster than 20 meters per minute.
6.20. Additive Process Technologies 2 stage process
6.21. Additive Process Technologies antenna cost
6.22. New technology to make conductive patterns
6.23. Dry Phase Patterned inductor
7.1. Properties and morphology of single walled carbon nanotubes
7.2. Nanotube shrink-wrap from Unidym
7.3. Zinc oxide nanowires generating power
8.1. Pelikon's (now MFLEX) prize winning fashion watch
8.2. An example of an elumin8 electroluminescent display
8.3. Experimental game printed on beer pack by VTT Technology of Finland
8.4. Duracell battery testing chipless label - front and reverse view
8.5. Principle of operation of electrophoretic displays
8.6. E-paper displays on a magazine sold in the US in October 2008
8.7. Retail Shelf Edge Labels from UPM
8.8. Secondary display on a cell phone
8.9. Scheme of the fabricated e-paper nanostructure based on ZnO nanowires
8.10. Photo image of (a) bleached, and (b) color state of the flexible ZnO nanowire electrode
8.11. Electronic paper from Fujitsu
9.1. Semiconductor development at Evonik
9.2. Target range for mobility and processing temperature of semiconductors.
9.3. Transfer characteristics of gen3 semiconductor system
9.4. Current efficiency of a Novaled PIN OLEDTM stack on an inkjet printed, transparent conductive ITO anode.
9.5. G24i has a new UK factory printing titanium oxide photovoltaics
9.6. G24i's advanced solar technology vs traditional polycrystalline
9.7. Inks developed by InkTec
9.8. InkTec Printing methods
9.9. NanoGram's Laser Reactive Deposition (LRD) technology
9.10. NanoMas technology
9.11. Printed Flexible Circuits from Soligie
9.12. Capabilities of Soligie
9.13. Printed electronics from Soligie
9.14. Printing presses used for printing electronics at Soligie
9.15. An e-label from Soligie
9.16. A flexible display sample
9.17. Printed electronics samples
10.1. The market for inorganic versus organic electronics defined by chemistry of key element 2014 2024
10.2. Percentage share as a whole of the market 2014-2024
10.3. Printed electronics materials and other elements of device income 2014-2024
10.4. Market forecast by component type for 2014-2024 in US $ billions, for printed and potentially printed electronics including organic, inorganic and composites
10.5. Technical challenges for the next ten year to improvement of FDICD capabilities
10.6. Facts about media
10.7. SM Products Road Map


Date of Publication:
Dec 3, 2014
File Format:
PDF via E-mail
Number of Pages:
296 Pages