The Global Market for Conductive Inks 2021-2031

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Published November 2021 | 340 pages, 75 tables, 83 figures | Table of contents

Conductive inks are mainly used in the printed electronics industry to produce printed circuits, organic light-emitting diodes, electrochemical sensors, energy storage devices, solar cells, radio-frequency identification tags, and battery test stripes. 

The global market for conductive inks is estimated at >$3 billion in annual revenues, and will continue to grow as applications proliferate in sensors, wearables, smart packaging, flexible electronics, OLEDs, thin film transistors, photovoltaics, smart textiles, automotive and more.

Not only will demand across all current markets grow, but the development of new materials and processes is leading to the creation of new market opportunities for conductive ink producers and suppliers in flexible, customized and 3D printed electronics. Opportunities explored in this report include:

  • Flexible and stretchable electronics.
  • Printed electronics for smartphones (printed antennas, touch screens).
  • Printed circuit boards.
  • 3D printing.
  • Smart packaging.
  • Photovoltaics.
  • Flexible lighting.
  • Flexible displays.
  • Wearables and IoT.
  • Healthcare wearable monitoting.
  • Smart textiles.

 

A large variety of conductive inks have been developed such as metal nanoparticle inks, metal precursor inks, carbon nanotube inks, graphene inks, conductive polymer inks etc. Copper and silver inks will continue to dominate the market for the next few years but growth in flexible electronics necessitates the development of new materials.

Report contents include:

  • Conductive inks market forecasts to 2031. 
  • In depth assessment of conductive ink types including properties, advantages, disadvantages, prospects, applications and revenues.
  • Opportunity assessment by application and market including photovoltaics, touch screens, flexible displays, automotive, 3D printing, sensors, printed circuit boards, electronic textiles and wearables, RFID, printed memory and transistors, printed heaters, conductive pens etc.
  • 129 company profiles. Companies profiled include Agfa-Gevaert N.V., Asahi Kasei, Bando Chemical Industries, BeBop Sensors, BotFactory, Daicel Corporation, DuPont Advanced Materials, Electroninks Writeables, Fujikura Kasei Co Ltd., Genes 'Ink, Henkel, Hitachi Chemical, Kishu Giken Kogyo Co.,Ltd., Liquid X Printed Metals, Inc., Sun Chemical, The Sixth Element, T-Ink, Toyobo etc.

 

1              EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   22

  • 1.1          Market drivers  23
  • 1.2          The evolution of electronics        25
    • 1.2.1      The wearables revolution             26
    • 1.2.2      Printed and flexible electronics  28
    • 1.2.3      New conductive materials            30
    • 1.2.4      Conductive inks 34
  • 1.3          Global market for conductive inks 2015-2031, by type     37
    • 1.3.1      By type 37
    • 1.3.2      By market           39

 

2              RESEARCH METHODOLOGY         40

 

3              CONDUCTIVE INKS          41

  • 3.1          Composition      43
    • 3.1.1      Aqueous-Based Ink         43
    • 3.1.2      Solvent-Based Ink            44
    • 3.1.3      Oil-Based Ink      45
    • 3.1.4      Hot-Melt Ink      45
    • 3.1.5      UV-Curable Ink 46
  • 3.2          Metal-based conductive inks      47
    • 3.2.1      Nanoparticle ink               47
    • 3.2.2      Silver inks (Flake, nanoparticles, nanowires, ion) 48
      • 3.2.2.1   Silver flake          49
      • 3.2.2.2   Silver nanoparticle ink    49
        • 3.2.2.2.1               Formulation       50
        • 3.2.2.2.2               Performance     51
        • 3.2.2.2.3               Conductivity       52
        • 3.2.2.2.4               Production methods       52
      • 3.2.2.3   Particle-Free silver conductive ink             53
      • 3.2.2.4   Prices    54
        • 3.2.2.4.1               Cost for printed area      54
      • 3.2.2.5   Producers           55
    • 3.2.3      Copper inks        56
      • 3.2.3.1   Properties           56
      • 3.2.3.2   Copper oxide nanoparticles         58
      • 3.2.3.3   Silver-coated copper      58
      • 3.2.3.4   Prices    59
      • 3.2.3.5   Producers           59
    • 3.2.4      Gold (Au) ink      60
      • 3.2.4.1   Properties           60
      • 3.2.4.2   Producers           61
  • 3.3          Carbon-based conductive inks    61
    • 3.3.1      Carbon nanotubes           61
      • 3.3.1.1   Properties           61
      • 3.3.1.2   Single-walled carbon nanotubes 63
      • 3.3.1.3   Prices    66
      • 3.3.1.4   Companies         67
    • 3.3.2      Graphene           70
      • 3.3.2.1   Properties           72
      • 3.3.2.2   Prices    76
      • 3.3.2.3   Companies         77
  • 3.4          Polymer conductive inks               81
    • 3.4.1      Types    81
    • 3.4.2      Polyaniline (PANI)           81
    • 3.4.3      Polypyrrole (PPy)             82
    • 3.4.4      PDMS    82
    • 3.4.5      PEDOT: PSS         82
      • 3.4.5.1   Transparency     83
  • 3.5          Liquid metals     85
    • 3.5.1      Properties           85
  • 3.6          Nanocellulose   87
    • 3.6.1.1   Properties           87
    • 3.6.2      Applications       89
      • 3.6.2.1   Cellulose nanofibers in conductive inks   90
  • 3.7          Siloxane inks      91
    • 3.7.1.1   Properties           91
  • 3.8          Bio-based conductive inks            91

 

4              PRINTING ELECTRONICS 94

  • 4.1          What are printed electronics?    94
  • 4.2          Analog printing processes for conductive inks      96
  • 4.3          Digital printing processes for conductive inks.     97
  • 4.4          Pros and cons of printing techniques for the fabrication of flexible electronics      99
  • 4.5          Contact printing technology        102
    • 4.5.1      Screen printing  102
    • 4.5.2      Flexography       103
    • 4.5.3      Soft lithography 104
  • 4.6          Non-contact printing technology               106
    • 4.6.1      Laser direct-writing         106
    • 4.6.2      Aerosol printing 107
    • 4.6.3      Inkjet-printing   108
  • 4.7          Drawn-on-skin electronics           109
  • 4.8          Sintering methods           109
    • 4.8.1      Thermal sintering             110
    • 4.8.2      Photonic sintering            110
    • 4.8.3      Plasma sintering               111

 

5              MARKETS FOR CONDUCTIVE INKS             112

  • 5.1          ELECTRONICS     112
    • 5.1.1      Market drivers and trends            112
    • 5.1.2      Recent developments    116
    • 5.1.3      Power electronics            118
      • 5.1.3.1   Ag die attach paste         118
      • 5.1.3.2   Nano Ag die attach paste              119
      • 5.1.3.3   Cu die attach paste         119
        • 5.1.3.3.1               Nano Cu               120
    • 5.1.4      Wearables          121
      • 5.1.4.1   Conductive Ink for Wearable Applications             121
    • 5.1.5      Smartwatches   122
      • 5.1.5.1   Recent innovations         122
      • 5.1.5.2   Health monitoring           122
      • 5.1.5.3   Main smart watch producers and products           122
    • 5.1.6      Sports and fitness trackers           124
      • 5.1.6.1   Conductive Ink for Fitness Trackers          124
      • 5.1.6.2   Wearable devices            125
      • 5.1.6.3   Skin patches       125
      • 5.1.6.4   Products              126
    • 5.1.7      Sleep trackers and wearable monitors    128
      • 5.1.7.1   Conductive Ink in Sleep Trackers and Wearable Monitors               129
      • 5.1.7.2   Built in function in smart watches and fitness trackers     130
      • 5.1.7.3   Smart rings         130
      • 5.1.7.4   Headbands         131
      • 5.1.7.5   Patches 132
      • 5.1.7.6   Masks   133
    • 5.1.8      Smart glasses and head-mounted displays (VR, AR, MR, vision loss and eye trackers)         133
      • 5.1.8.1   Conductive Ink in Smart glasses and head-mounted displays        133
      • 5.1.8.2   Products              134
      • 5.1.8.3   Virtual Reality (VR) devices          137
      • 5.1.8.4   Augmented (AR) headsets and smart glasses       138
      • 5.1.8.5   Mixed Reality (MR) smart glasses              139
    • 5.1.9      Military wearable electronics      140
    • 5.1.10    Industrial and workplace monitoring       141
      • 5.1.10.1                Products              142
    • 5.1.11    Electronic skin (E-skin)   142
    • 5.1.12    Touch screen panels       144
      • 5.1.12.1                Conductive ink in Touch screen panels    144
    • 5.1.13    Global market size           145
      • 5.1.13.1                By product type, 2015-2031, billions USD              146
      • 5.1.13.2                Global market for hearables to 2031, by product type, billions USD            148
      • 5.1.13.3                Market share by product type    149
    • 5.1.14    Market challenges           150
  • 5.2          MEDICAL AND HEALTHCARE SENSORS & WEARABLES       151
    • 5.2.1      Market drivers  151
    • 5.2.2      Current state of the art  154
    • 5.2.3      Wearable medical device products           155
    • 5.2.4      Conductive inks in medical wearables and sensors            158
    • 5.2.5      Wearable health monitoring and rehabilitation   160
      • 5.2.5.1   Companies and products              161
    • 5.2.6      Electronic skin (E-skin) patches  167
      • 5.2.6.1   Applications       167
      • 5.2.6.2   Conductive ink in skin patches    168
      • 5.2.6.3   Nanomaterials-based devices     169
      • 5.2.6.4   Materials             171
    • 5.2.7      Wearable health alert and monitoring    172
      • 5.2.7.1   Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)   173
        • 5.2.7.1.1               Minimally-invasive CGM sensors               174
        • 5.2.7.1.2               Non-invasive CGM sensors          176
        • 5.2.7.1.3               Minimally-invasive and non-invasive glucose monitoring companies and products              178
      • 5.2.7.2   Cardiovascular   181
        • 5.2.7.2.1               ECG sensors       182
        • 5.2.7.2.2               Companies and products              183
      • 5.2.7.3   PPG sensors       184
        • 5.2.7.3.1               Companies and products              185
      • 5.2.7.4   Pregnancy and newborn monitoring        185
        • 5.2.7.4.1               Companies and products              185
      • 5.2.7.5   Wearable temperature monitoring          186
        • 5.2.7.5.1               Companies and products              188
      • 5.2.7.6   Hydration sensors           189
        • 5.2.7.6.1               Companies and products              189
      • 5.2.7.7   Wearable sweat sensors (medical and sports)     189
        • 5.2.7.7.1               Companies and products              192
    • 5.2.8      Smart footwear 193
      • 5.2.8.1   Companies and products              194
    • 5.2.9      Smart wound care           195
      • 5.2.9.1   Conductive ink in smart wound care        197
      • 5.2.9.2   Companies and products              197
    • 5.2.10    Global market size           197
      • 5.2.10.1                By product type, 2015-2031, billions USD              197
      • 5.2.10.2                Market share, by product type   199
    • 5.2.11    Market challenges           200
  • 5.3          ELECTRONIC TEXTILES (E-TEXTILES)           202
    • 5.3.1      Materials and components          202
      • 5.3.1.1   Conductive and stretchable yarns             203
      • 5.3.1.2   Conductive polymers     204
        • 5.3.1.2.1               PDMS    205
        • 5.3.1.2.2               PEDOT: PSS         206
      • 5.3.1.3   Conductive coatings        207
    • 5.3.2      Stretchable conductive inks in e-textiles 208
      • 5.3.2.1   PEDOT  209
      • 5.3.2.2   Nanomaterials  210
        • 5.3.2.2.1               Graphene           212
        • 5.3.2.2.2               Carbon nanotubes           213
    • 5.3.3      Applications, markets and products         217
      • 5.3.3.1   E-textile products with conductive inks   217
      • 5.3.3.2   Companies producing conductive inks for e-textiles         218
      • 5.3.3.3   Smart clothing products 220
      • 5.3.3.4   Temperature monitoring and regulation 222
        • 5.3.3.4.1               Heated clothing 222
      • 5.3.3.5   Stretchable E-fabrics       226
      • 5.3.3.6   Therapeutic products     227
      • 5.3.3.7   Sport & fitness  227
      • 5.3.3.8   Flexible and wearable display advertising              228
      • 5.3.3.9   Smart diapers    229
      • 5.3.3.10                Automotive interiors      230
    • 5.3.4      Global market size           231
    • 5.3.5      Market challenges           234
  • 5.4          AUTOMOTIVE   236
    • 5.4.1      Conductive pastes           237
    • 5.4.2      Window defoggers          238
    • 5.4.3      Seat heaters       239
    • 5.4.4      Printed battery heaters 240
    • 5.4.5      Other applications           241
  • 5.5          CONDUCTIVE PENS         242
  • 5.6          SMART PACKAGING        245
    • 5.6.1      Conductive inks in smart packaging          245
  • 5.7          RFID ANTENNAS               247
  • 5.8          PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SOLAR CELLS            250
    • 5.8.1      Conductive inks and pastes for PV            250
      • 5.8.1.1   Silver paste         250
      • 5.8.1.2   Copper paste     251
    • 5.8.2      Inkjet printed solar cells 252

 

6              CONDUCTIVE INK COMPANY PROFILES   253 (131 company profiles)

 

7              REFERENCES       333

 

 

 

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Market drivers for conductive inks.         23
  • Table 2. Types of wearable devices and applications.        27
  • Table 3. Advanced materials for Electronic textiles-Advantages and disadvantages.            31
  • Table 4. Sheet resistance (RS) and transparency (T) values for transparent conductive oxides and alternative materials for transparent conductive electrodes (TCE).       33
  • Table 5: Applications in conductive inks by type and benefits thereof.      34
  • Table 6. Global market for conductive inks 2017-2027, revenues (million $), by ink types, conservative estimate. 39
  • Table 7: Typical conductive ink formulation.         41
  • Table 8. Comparative properties of conductive inks.         42
  • Table 9. Comparison of silver nanoparticle inks with traditional inks.         51
  • Table 10. Silver conductive ink producers.             55
  • Table 11. Comparison of silver and copper properties.     58
  • Table 12. Copper conductive ink producers.         59
  • Table 13. Gold conductive ink producers.              61
  • Table 14: Properties of CNTs and comparable materials. 62
  • Table 15. Applications of carbon nanotubes in conductive ink.     65
  • Table 16. Carbon nanotubes pricing (MWCNTS, SWCNT etc.) by producer.              66
  • Table 17: Carbon nanotube conductive ink producers.     68
  • Table 18: Properties of graphene.             70
  • Table 19. Market overview for graphene in conductive inks.          71
  • Table 20. Electrical conductivity of different types of graphene.  73
  • Table 21. Market and applications for graphene in conductive inks.           73
  • Table 22: Graphene ink pricing by producer.        76
  • Table 23: Graphene conductive ink producers.    77
  • Table 24: Types of flexible conductive polymers, properties and applications.       83
  • Table 25. Comparison of the electrical conductivities of liquid metal with typical conductive inks. 85
  • Table 26: Nanocellulose properties.         87
  • Table 27: Properties and applications of nanocellulose    88
  • Table 28: Properties of flexible electronics‐cellulose nanofiber film (nanopaper). 89
  • Table 29:  Characteristics of analog printing processes for conductive inks.             96
  • Table 30: Characteristics of digital printing processes for conductive inks.               97
  • Table 31. Comparison of pros and cons of various types of conductive ink compositions.  101
  • Table 32. Market drivers and trends in wearable electronics.        113
  • Table 33. Wearable health monitors.       122
  • Table 34. Main smart watch producers and products.      122
  • Table 35. Wearable sensors for sports performance.        126
  • Table 36. Wearable sensor products for monitoring sport performance.  127
  • Table 37. Example wearable sleep tracker products and prices.    128
  • Table 38. Smart ring products.    131
  • Table 39. Sleep headband products.        132
  • Table 40. Smart sleep mask products.     133
  • Table 41. Smart glasses companies and products.              134
  • Table 42. VR headset products. 138
  • Table 43. Augmented reality (AR) smart glass products.  139
  • Table 44. Mixed Reality (MR) smart glass products.           140
  • Table 45. Wearable electronics applications in the military.           141
  • Table 46. Wearable workplace products.               142
  • Table 47. Global market for wearable electronics, 2015-2031, by product type, billions $. 147
  • Table 48. Market challenges in wearable electronics.       150
  • Table 49. Market drivers for printed, flexible and stretchable medical and healthcare sensors and wearables.        151
  • Table 50. Examples of wearable medical device products.              155
  • Table 51. Medical wearable companies applying products to body temperature monitoring and analysis. 157
  • Table 52. Applications in flexible and stretchable health monitors, by advanced materials type and benefits thereof.                171
  • Table 53. Wearable bio-signal monitoring devices.            172
  • Table 54. Technologies for minimally-invasive and non-invasive glucose detection-advantages and disadvantages.                174
  • Table 55. Commercial devices for non-invasive glucose monitoring not released or withdrawn from market.          177
  • Table 56. Minimally-invasive and non-invasive glucose monitoring products.         178
  • Table 57. Companies developing wearable swear sensors.             192
  • Table 58. Companies and products in smart footwear.    194
  • Table 59. Companies and products in smart wound care.                197
  • Table 60. Global medical and healthcare wearables market, 2017-2031, billions $, by product.      198
  • Table 61. Market challenges in medical and healthcare sensors and wearables.   200
  • Table 62. Types of smart textiles.              202
  • Table 63. Types of flexible conductive polymers, properties and applications.        206
  • Table 64. Applications in textiles, by advanced materials type and benefits thereof.           211
  • Table 65. Applications and benefits of graphene in textiles and apparel.  212
  • Table 66. Properties of CNTs and comparable materials. 213
  • Table 67. Applications and markets for e-textiles.              217
  • Table 68. Companies producing conductive inks for e-textiles      218
  • Table 69. Commercially available smart clothing products.             220
  • Table 70. Electronic textiles products.     221
  • Table 71. Heated jacket and clothing products.   224
  • Table 72. Examples of materials used in flexible heaters and applications.               225
  • Table 73. Companies developing smart diaper products. 229
  • Table 74. Global electronic textiles and smart clothing market 2017-2031, revenues (billions USD).             231
  • Table 75. Market and technical challenges in E-textiles and smart clothing.            234

 

List of Figures

  • Figure 1. Evolution of electronics.             25
  • Figure 2. Electronics Market Revenue and CAGR %.           26
  • Figure 3. Wove Band.     29
  • Figure 4. Wearable graphene medical sensor.     30
  • Figure 5. Conductive yarns.          31
  • Figure 6. Global market for conductive inks 2017-2027, revenues (million $), by ink types, conservative estimate. 38
  • Figure 7. Schematic of inkjet-printed processes. 44
  • Figure 8. Demand for silver in the printed & flexible electronics market.  49
  • Figure 9: Silver nanocomposite ink after sintering and resin bonding of discrete electronic components.  50
  • Figure 10. Schematic summary of the formulation of silver conductive inks.           51
  • Figure 11: Copper based inks on flexible substrate.           57
  • Figure 12: Schematic of single-walled carbon nanotube. 64
  • Figure 13: Stretchable SWNT memory and logic devices for wearable electronics.               65
  • Figure 14: Nanotube inks              69
  • Figure 15: Graphene layer structure schematic.  71
  • Figure 16: BGT Materials graphene ink product. 73
  • Figure 17. Applications of graphene in conductive inks.   76
  • Figure 18: BGT Materials graphene ink product. 78
  • Figure 19: Printed graphene conductive ink.         79
  • Figure 20: Textiles covered in conductive graphene ink.  79
  • Figure 21:  Cellulose nanofiber films.       89
  • Figure 22: Nanocellulose photoluminescent paper.           90
  • Figure 23: LEDs shining on circuitry imprinted on a 5x5cm sheet of CNF.  90
  • Figure 24. Printing technologies for flexible electronic devices.    96
  • Figure 25. Schematic of inkjet printing processes.              100
  • Figure 26. Schematic of screen-printing process. 102
  • Figure 27. Components of flexography printing techniques.          103
  • Figure 28. Printing with visible-light photolithography.    105
  • Figure 29. Applications of wearable flexible sensors worn on various body parts. 117
  • Figure 30. Wearable bio-fluid monitoring system for monitoring of hydration.      125
  • Figure 31. Beddr SleepTuner.     132
  • Figure 32. Vuzix Blade.   138
  • Figure 33. NReal Light MR smart glasses.               140
  • Figure 34. Examples of E-skin.     143
  • Figure 35. Metal mesh-based printed single layer touch screen sensor.    144
  • Figure 36. Global market for wearables, 2015-2031, by product type, billions US$.              146
  • Figure 37. Global market for hearables, 2017-2031, by product type, billions US$.               148
  • Figure 38. Global market for wearables, 2020-2031, by market share of product type        149
  • Figure 39. Companies and products in wearable health monitoring and rehabilitation devices and products.           161
  • Figure 40. Smart e-skin system comprising health-monitoring sensors, displays, and ultra flexible PLEDs.  168
  • Figure 41. Graphene medical patch.         170
  • Figure 42. Graphene-based E-skin patch.               170
  • Figure 43. Technologies for minimally-invasive and non-invasive glucose detection.           174
  • Figure 44. Schematic of non-invasive CGM sensor.            178
  • Figure 45. Adhesive wearable CGM sensor.          178
  • Figure 46. VitalPatch.     182
  • Figure 47. Wearable ECG-textile.              183
  • Figure 48. Wearable ECG recorder.           184
  • Figure 49. Nexkin™.        184
  • Figure 50. Bloomlife.      186
  • Figure 51. Enfucell wearable temperature tag.    188
  • Figure 52. TempTraQ wearable wireless thermometer.   188
  • Figure 53. Nanowire skin hydration patch.             189
  • Figure 54. NIX sensors.  189
  • Figure 55. Wearable sweat sensor.           190
  • Figure 56. Wearable sweat sensor.           191
  • Figure 57. Gatorade's GX Sweat Patch.   191
  • Figure 58. Sweat sensor incorporated into face mask.      192
  • Figure 59. Lab-on-Skin™.              193
  • Figure 60. Digitsole Smartshoe. 194
  • Figure 61. Schematic of smart wound dressing.  196
  • Figure 62. REPAIR electronic patch concept. Image courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.    196
  • Figure 63. Global medical and healthcare wearables market, 2017-2031, billions $, by product.    198
  • Figure 64. Global market for medical and healthcare sensors and wearables, 2020-2031, by market share of product type.     200
  • Figure 65. Conductive yarns.       204
  • Figure 66. SEM image of cotton fibers with PEDOT:PSS coating.   205
  • Figure 67. EXO2 Stormwalker 2 Heated Jacket.    223
  • Figure 68. Flexible polymer-based heated glove, sock and slipper.              223
  • Figure 69. ThermaCell Rechargeable Heated Insoles.        224
  • Figure 70. Myant sleeve tracks biochemical indicators in sweat.  226
  • Figure 71. Flexible polymer-based therapeutic products. 227
  • Figure 72. iStimUweaR . 228
  • Figure 73. Basketball referee Royole fully flexible display.              229
  • Figure 74. ABENA Nova smart diaper.      229
  • Figure 75. Textile-based car seat heaters.              231
  • Figure 76. Global electronic textiles and smart clothing market 2017-2031, revenues (billions USD).           233
  • Figure 77. Smart packaging for detecting bacteria growth in milk containers.         245
  • Figure 78. Solar PV supply chain.               250
  • Figure 79. Printed graphene biosensors. 259
  • Figure 80. Fuji carbon nanotube products.            278
  • Figure 81. Nanotech Energy battery.       307
  • Figure 82. Touchcode technology.            320
  • Figure 83. Talcoat graphene mixed with paint.     321

 

 

The Global Market for Conductive Inks 2021-2031
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