Flexible & Printed Electronics

Flexible & Printed Electronics

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Description: Flexible electronics: Partly or completely flexible electronic devices. Manufacturing process can include evaporation, MOCVD, solution printing etc. Printed electronics: Electronic devices using solution-based manufacturing processes (screen printing, roll-to-roll, inkjet etc.).

Although we do not consider as printed devices products with only one printing step such as screen-printed PV devices. Only the devices which have an active part made by printing techniques are considered as “printed”. Therefore, for instance crystalline silicon cells with screen printed metallization are not considered here.

Polytronics: Formerly “Polymer Electronics”. They are devices mixing printed electronics, flexible electronics, and inorganic electronics (standard Si ICs, thin film technologies and so on..).

 
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Contents:
Flexible & Printed
Electronics

© 2013
Copyrights © Yole Développement SARL. All rights reserved.

Fields of Research Activity
Founded in 1998, Yole Developpement is a global market, technology and
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Primary research including over 3,500 interviews per year
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Our Global Activity

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© 2013•

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Some of Our Customers
Financial investors
& industry advocates

R&D Organizations

© 2013•

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Suppliers (equipment,
wafers, materials)

Component
manufacturers

Integrators, system
suppliers & end users

Definitions
• In the report, we use the following definitions:
– Flexible electronics: Partly or completely flexible electronic devices.
Manufacturing process can include evaporation, MOCVD, solution printing etc.
– Printed electronics: Electronic devices using solution-based manufacturing
processes (screen printing, roll-to-roll, inkjet etc.). Although we do not consider
as printed devices products with only one printing step such as screen-printed
PV devices. Only the devices which have an active part made by printing

techniques are considered as “printed”. Therefore, for instance crystalline
silicon cells with screen printed metallization are not considered here.
– Polytronics: Formerly “Polymer Electronics”. They are devices mixing printed
electronics, flexible electronics, and inorganic electronics (standard Si ICs, thin

film technologies and so on… ).

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APPLICATION LANDSCAPE

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Application landscape (1/3)
Flexible
Application enabling / Function
enabling
Small OLED
Displays
Mobile phones /
tablets

Electronic
paper
e-readers

Conformable
OLED Lighting
Automotive /
luxury lighting

Conformable
Organic PV
Energy
harvesting

Systems on foil
Smart systems,
polytronics
Gas sensors
Wireless
sensors

Large OLED
Displays
TV

OLED
Lighting
General
lighting

Printed
(Potentially) Large volumes / Low
cost
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Large / high
volume
Organic PV
PV farms /
grid
electricity

Application landscape (2/3)


Market drivers for flexible and printed electronics are different, even though
manufacturing processes and end applications share similarities



Main market drivers for flexible electronics are:


The possibility to add new functionalities:



Conformability for OPV (energy harvesting)





Conformability for OLED lighting (for the automotive industry),

Robustness for small OLED displays (for smart phones & tablets)

The possibility to create new applications:




wearable electronics.

Flexible electronics is NOT meant to be low-cost, and usually uses expensive processes
(MOCVD, evaporation)



The main market driver for printed electronics is:


Cost reduction thanks to high volume (Roll-to-roll) manufacturing or to the fewer use of
expensive manufacturing processes (MOCVD, evaporation):


potentially lower cost OLED TVs can be built if solution based manufacturing is mastered, potentially
low cost OPV can appear if technical challenges are leveraged

© 2013•

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Application landscape (3/3)
Technology

© 2013•

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Robustness

Flexible substrate &
encapsulation

Large OLED
Display

TV screens

Lowering costs

Large volume (R2R)
solution printing

E-readers; auxiliary screen
for cellphones

Low power
consumption

Standard evaporation /
solution processes

Conformable
OLED lighting

Automotive indoor lighting;
luxury lighting

Conformability

Flexible substrates &
encapsulation: flexible
material layers

General lighting

Lighting
homogeneity

Standard evaporation /
solution processes

Conformable
OPV

Energy harvesting;
conformable solar panels

Conformability

Inkjet printing

Large volume
OPV

Solar farms; building
powering

Lowering costs

Large volume (R2R)
solution printing

Printed sensors
Sensing

Smart phone & tablets
displays; PMP displays etc.

Large panel
OLED lighting

OPV

Manufacturing focus

Electronic
paper

Lighting

Development
driver

Small OLED
Display
Displays

Application

Chemical sensing; printed
touchscreens

Lowering costs

Any manufacturing
process

Systems on foil
/ Smart sensors

RFID sensing; medical,
cosmetic, packaging, etc…

Enabling the
“Internet of
Things”; low cost
smart systems

Polytronics

PLAYERS LANDSCAPE

© 2013•

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Players landscape (1/3)
Flexible
Application enabling / Function
enabling
Small OLED
Displays

Electronic
paper

Conformable
OLED Lighting
Conformable
Organic PV

Systems on foil /
polytronics

Gas sensors

Large OLED
Displays

OLED Lighting

Printed
(Potentially) Large volumes / Low
cost
© 2013•

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Large / high
volume Organic
PV

Players landscape (2/3)
Main Equipment Supplier Map

Printed electronics and Flexible electronics share most of their manufacturing processes
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Players landscape (3/3)
Main Material Supplier Map

Printed electronics and Flexible electronics share the same manufacturing materials
© 2013•

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Each Printed Electronics Segment Has Very
Complex Supply Chains
Example of ThinFilm Electronics NVRAM supply chain Unique to ThinFilm

If you want to play in
Printed Electronics, you
have to put your own
infrastructure together!

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PRINTED ELECTRONICS APPLICATIONS

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Printed electronics applications

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Former YOLE Printed Electronics Forecast
by Application

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Technology needs always more time to
come to the market…

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2013-2020 Flexible & Printed Electronics
Market
Printed & Flexible Electronics is expected to be close to $1B market by 2020 with a

27% CAGR over 2013-2012
TOTAL Flexible & Printed Electronics (US$M)
$ 1 200

© Yole Développement 2013
$ 1 000

$ 800
US$M



$ 600

$ 400

$ 200

$ 00
TOTAL Flexible & Printed Electronics
($M)

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2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

$ 176

$ 181

$ 189

$ 257

$ 338

$ 534

$ 749

$ 959

PRINTED ELECTRONICS CHALLENGES:
TECHNICAL LIMITATIONS

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Technical Limitations


Materials performances


High-performance materials are required for most
applications such as OLED displays for example.




They have to stay contained in a pixels area for displays





Solution materials have to keep from mixing with each other

Etc…

Appropriate equipment


Appropriate printing equipment must be developed and
affordable.



Printed electronics requires smaller pitches than what can
offer current printing pieces of equipment: graphic industry
does not need a precision under 40 μm



High Volumes!


For printed solutions to become affordable, high volumes
have to be reached, and this will not be the case at short /
mid term

© 2013•

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In OLED Displays for example, high
intra-pixel uniformity is required,
which is not yet attainable with
current solutions.
Source: DuPont

Application Breakdown

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FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS CHALLENGES

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Challenges for flexible electronics
• Flexible barriers
– The main challenge is on materials for encapsulation

– Current technologies are not so good when used on flexible devices
– Current options such as flexible glass or multi-layer technologies are expensive
– Active materials are required for higher performance applications such as OPV
or flexible OLED. No such material yet exists

• Some companies start to build production lines for flexible OPV in
2016+. Nevertheless these companies are betting on the hope that a
suitable barrier material will exist by the time the line is operational.

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PRINTED ELECTRONICS CHALLENGE:
FINANCIAL INCOHERENCE

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2013 Financial analysis


In last report, we tracked 24 companies for a total of US$1.35B raised over 2000-2010 (we did not

get the information for 3 companies).
Two years later, 1 companies out of the 3 that had raised > $100M did bankrupt:


Konarka (photovoltaics).



Nanosolar starts layoffs in February 2013



And PlasticLogic is currently trying to find new applications outside the e-readers market!

Total amount raised over 2000-2011(USD)
Dow Jones Venture Source

Amout raised (US$)



© 2013•

$500
$450
$400
$350
$300
$250
$200
$150
$100
$50
$0

29

$422
$372

??

$180

$61 $59 $57

$36 $34 $29 $25 $21
$10

$9

$8

$7

$6

$4

$3

$3

$3

$2

EVOLUTION OF PRINTED ELECTRONICS:
POLYTRONICS

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Polytronics definition


Polytronics (Polymer Electronics) is the “evolution” of printed & flexible electronics.
We assimilate it to the also called “hybrid printed electronics”, it is the integration on

a flexible foil of different technologies:



Si ICs



Thin film technologies





Printed devices (printed sensors, OPV)

Etc…

The main purpose of Polytronics is to develop smart systems with a potential low
cost, thus enabling larger visions such as “the Internet of Things” and even more.



The global interest in polytronics is born from the difficulties faced by the flexible &
printed electronics industry. It is an alternate way to come to similar results while
trying to avoid some of the main challenges.

© 2013•

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Printed electronics, Flexible electronics &
Polytronics history
80’s

90’s

2000’s

2010’s

In the hype!
Tremendous amounts
of money are being
invested. First
working prototypes
are demonstrated.
Start-ups are
popping-out

Time for disillusion:
- No killer applications
- Huge technical
challenges
- Low market pull
- Restructuration of the
market (companies
close)

Printed electronics
promises:
- New applications
- Low costs
- Infinite potential

Printed electronics
promises:
- Only a few potential
applications (OLED
displays, touchscreens)

Beginning of the hype
for flexible electronics

Beginning of the hype
Highly conductive
polymers start to be
Printed electronics
investigated.
promises:
- New applications
Printed electronics - Low costs
promises:
Flexible electronics is
- New applications
(Kodak’s first diode) being investigated

Flexible electronics
promises:
- Not flexibility, but
robustness and
conformability.

Polytronics starts to
be investigated

Beginning of the Hype for
polytronics

© 2013•

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Legend:
Printed electronics
Flexible electronics
Polytronics

2020’s

First high volumes
in printed & flexible
electronics, in a few
applications only
Actual polytronics
challenges are
being revealed

Polytronics main focus: Smart Systems
Several building blocks are being investigated by polytronics. Some building block already exist,
but most of them must exist to build a marketable devices.
Some companies have already developed commercial products, but are now in “advance of
phase” and are techno-pushing
Energy
harvesting
-

Thin film battery

- EnFuCell,
Infinite Power
Solutions, etc…

Disasolar,
Eight 19,
Armor,
(Heliatek),
etc…

-

© 2013•

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Printed sensors

- KWJ
Engineering

Small/thin
inorganic
electronics
- NXP
- Prelonic
technologies

Printed antennas

?

Materials

-

Projects & players: Interflex, Chip2Foil, SmartEC, PRIAM etc…
- Bosch
- NXP
- VTT
- Fraunhofer
- CEA LITEN
- Etc…

DuPont Teijin
Agfa
Heraeus
Etc…

Example: Pasteur project
RFID – Sensor tag
The Pasteur project aims at creating a printed RFID – wireless sensor tag for which enables
monitoring the environmental conditions of perishables in the cold chain.

Many industrials and research centers are involved in this project: NVC, Inkoa, KUL,
WageningenUP, Verhaert, Philips, TU/e, NXP, Prelonic, TU Delft, CNM, IMEC, NTC, TNO, Catrene,
Boschman.
RFID – wireless sensor tag demonstrators:

© 2013•

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RFID – Wireless sensor tag structure

Polytronics current stage


Pilot facilities are being developed, mixing roll-to-roll processes and pick & place for
inorganic components: VTT, Fraunhofer Institute, CEA LITEN, etc…



Prototypes and start-ups start to appear:


VTT and EnFuCell : biosensor coupled with electronics for cosmetic applications like
monitoring lotion penetration into the skin



Fraunhofer EMFT: polytronics based Lab-on-a-chip

BUT



Only niche applications have been identified. The only killer application could be
RFID if costs manage to go lower than Si-based RFID



The technology is still at basic development stage



Practical questions start to arise:


Smart packages: How to recycle it? It cannot go into standard recycle bins…



Smart clothing: Will it be trend-dependent and never last more than one season?



Smart sensing: Is there an health issue if my kid tries to eat the sensor I put in my
refrigerator?

© 2013•

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Surfing on the hype
1990

2010

2000

2020

2013: beginning of the
hype for polytronics
Start-ups start to be
created

2000’s: beginning of the
hype for flexible
electronics
Start-ups start to be
created

© 2013•

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Late 90’s: beginning of
the hype for printed
electronics
Start-ups start to be
created

2010’s: In the hype for
flexible electronics
Large investments in R&D
/ large investments in
start ups
2012: End of the hype for
printed electronics
Industry restructuration /
companies start to close

2005-2008: In the hype for
printed electronics
Large investments in R&D
/ large investments in
start ups

Legend:
Printed electronics
Flexible electronics
Polytronics
Interest and investments

PE “At-a-glance”

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DISCUSSION

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