Flexible electronics encompasses lightweight, flexible and electronic sensing components and electronic devices built on stretchable substrates that are utilized in sensors, displays, wearables, E-textiles etc. They are manufactured on flexible plastic substrates, paper, textiles, or thin glass. Printed electronics is often considered a subset of the flexible electronics sector. It refers to the method used to create electronic devices by printing them on various (flexible) substrates.
The rapid boom in smart wearable and integrated electronic devices has stimulated demand for advanced intelligent systems with high performance, micro size, mechanical flexibility, and high-temperature stability for application as flexible and stretchable displays, personal health monitoring, human motion capturing, smart textiles, electronic skins and more. The key requirement for these applications is flexibility and stretchability, as these devices are subject to various mechanical deformations including twisting, bending, folding, and stretching during operation.
The development of printed, flexible and stretchable conductors over the last decade has resulted in commercialization of flexible and stretchable sensors, circuits, displays, and energy harvesters for next-generation wearables and soft robotics. These systems must be able to conform to the shape of and survive the environment in which they must operate. They are typically fabricated on flexible plastic substrates or are printed/woven into fabrics.
The electronics industry is moving at a fast pace from standard, inflexible form factors to stretchable and conformable devices. Printed, flexible and stretchable electronics products are increasing weekly from wearables for healthcare to smart packaging, sensors, automotive tail lights and displays, flexible displays, photovoltaics and more. Based on a new generation of advanced materials, printed, flexible and stretchable sensors and electronics will enable new possibilities in a diverse range of industries from healthcare to automotive to buildings. These technologies will drive innovation in smart medical technology, automotive, smart manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT) and consumer electronics.
Recent advances in stimuli-responsive surfaces and interfaces, sensors and actuators, flexible electronics, nanocoatings and conductive nanomaterials has led to the development of a new generation of smart and adaptive electronic fibers, yarns and fabrics for application in E-textiles. Wearable low-power silicon electronics, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fabricated on fabrics, textiles with integrated Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and electronic devices such as smart glasses, watches and lenses have been widely investigated and commercialized. Smart textiles and garments can sense environmental stimuli and react or adapt in a predetermined way. This involves either embedding or integrating sensors/actuators ad electronic components into textiles for use in applications such as medical diagnostics and health monitoring, consumer electronics, safety instruments and automotive textiles.
In the flexible displays market, electronics giants such as Samsung and LG Electronics have brought flexible, foldable and rollable smartphone, display and tablet products to the market. Wearable and mobile health monitoring technologies have recently received enormous interest worldwide due to the rapidly aging global populations and the drastically increasing demand for in-home healthcare. Commercially available and near commercial wearable devices facilitate the transmission of biomedical informatics and personal health recording. Body worn sensors, which can provide real-time continuous measurement of pertinent physiological parameters noninvasively and comfortably for extended periods of time, are of crucial importance for emerging applications of mobile medicine. Wearable sensors that can wirelessly provide pertinent health information while remaining unobtrusive, comfortable, low cost, and easy to operate and interpret, play an essential role.
Battery and electronics producers require thin, flexible energy storage and conversion devices to power their wearable technology. The growth in flexible electronics has resulted in increased demand for flexible, stretchable, bendable, rollable and foldable batteries and supercapacitors as power sources for application in flexible and wearable devices.
Report contents include:
Current and developmental flexible and printed electronics based products.
Manufacturing and processes for flexible organic & printed electronics
Advanced materials utilized in flexible and printed electronics. Materials covered include
conductive inks materials.
silver ink (flake, nanoparticles, nanowires).
various metal and metal oxide nanoparticles.
graphene quantum dots.
perovskite quantum dots.
functional inorganic inks.
Market analysis including applications, products, companies and global revenues, forecast to 2031. Markets covered include
Other cross-cutting markets including automation, smart buildings, agriculture, Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent & smart packaging, AR/VR displays, 3D printing etc.
Profiles of over 550 producers and product developers. Companies profiled include CHASM, Nanosys, PragmatIC, Jabil, Henkel, DuPont Teijin Films, Metamaterial Technologies Inc., Evonik, Saule Technologies, TactoTek, Optomec, Omniply Technologies, E Ink, Ynvisible Interactive Inc., SmartKem and many more.
1 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 49
2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 50
2.1 The evolution of electronics 52
2.1.1 The wearables revolution 53
2.1.2 Wearable market leaders 54
2.1.3 Flexible, thin, and large-area form factors 55
2.2 What are flexible electronics? 56
2.2.1 From rigid to flexible and stretchable 56
184.108.40.206 Stretchable electronics 58
220.127.116.11 Stretchable electronics in wearables 58
2.3 Printed electronics 59
2.4 New conductive materials 60
2.5 Foldable smartphones and tablets 63
2.6 Recent growth in Flexible and printed products 67
2.7 Future growth 67
2.8 Growth in remote health monitoring and diagnostics 68
2.9 Innovations at CES 2021 70
2.10 Investment funding 2019-2021 70
3 MATERIALS 73
3.1 CONDUCTIVE INKS 73
3.1.1 Market drivers 73
3.1.2 Conductive ink materials 75
18.104.22.168.1 Silver flakes 76
22.214.171.124.2 Nanoparticle inks 78
126.96.36.199.2.1 Graphene conductive inks 80
188.8.131.52.3 Copper ink 82
184.108.40.206.4 Stretchable and thermoformable inks 83
220.127.116.11.5 Metal-gel based ink 85
18.104.22.168.6 Particle-free conductive ink 85
22.214.171.124 Comparative properties of conductive inks 86