A new report says it is possible that plastic electronics technology is set to revolutionise parts of the consumer electronics industry, with lower costs, lower energy consumption during manufacture and increased sustainability.
InnovationDB, the licensable IP technology database company, has carried out a study of the production, development and application of plastic electronics.
CEO of InnovationDB, Gerald Law, writes:
“The plastic electronics sector promises a mind-blowing array of new products and applications this has thrown the entire sector into disarray. Plastic electronics is a step change in the way we use electronics at every point of the product lifecycle. The total market for plastic electronics is estimated to grow from $26.54bn in 2016 to $69.03bn in 2026.”
A small selection of smart phones and OLED TVs using such electronics technology are commercially available, with more on the way.
Working prototypes of roll-up screens and plastic electronic biosensors have been demonstrated. Bendable smartphones, self-charging laptops and bio tattoos are on the brink of entering the real world.
According to InnovationDB new applications of the electronics include:
• Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs): Currently these dominate the commercial environment, with possible applications in smart contact lenses monitoring blood glucose levels, augmentation of reality and vision correction or enhancement.
• Organic Thin-Film Transistors (OTFTs): These can be applied to make electronic skin, fitness trackers on the back of your hand, or smart skin instead of a smart watch, possible.
• Organic PhotoVoltaics (OVPs) or Organic Solar Cells: These enable the creation of inexpensive, lightweight and flexible solar cells. Mercedes-Benz currently uses a multi-voltaic spray-on solar paint using OPV technology on its G-Code concept car.
Plastic electronics uses organic semiconducting materials to create electronic devices, enabling circuits to be deposited or printed onto almost any surface or material, both rigid or flexible.