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19 October 2012 CLIP

The Future of Conductive Printing

Printed electronics has already made progress in areas such as smart packaging for pharmaceuticals. Low-cost conductive inks will enable many more applications.
Printed electronics has already made progress in areas such as smart packaging for pharmaceuticals. Low-cost conductive inks will enable many more applications..
Image Credit: CYPAK.

Printed electronics (PE) presents a wide variety of possibilities. New means of manufacturing electronics with simple, cheap processing could radically alter the foundations of the semiconductor industry. Equally, new possibilities could be enabled when flexible and integrated electronic circuitry and components are enabled. Animated packaging, integrated solar cells and flexible rolls of OLED lighting are among the concepts being pursued as part of the printed electronics movement.

Such innovations rely on a working value chain of materials, components, printing tools and production lines.

At the heart of printable electronics is conductive ink. A method of depositing circuitry as a printed ink allows for a thin layer electronic circuit; aids the flexibility of the end product; and, ultimately, could make printed electronics simple and cheap enough for them to become a ubiquitous feature of the world around us.

Today, most of the printed electronics are based on silver based inks. The high price of silver is a bottleneck for the breakthrough of several applications. Within the European funded CLIP-project, research institutes, SME's and SME Associations are working together to develop low cost inks based on copper for use in optimized high volume low cost printing technologies (screen, flexo) and digital non contact printing technologies (inkjet and aerosol jet printing).

IoN is a partner in the CLIP project and you can learn more about the impacts of PE at our next workshop taking place at the premises of Sirris, Diepenbeek (BE) on the 27th November 2012. At the workshop we will give an overview on the state-of-the-art and new developments in the field of conductive ink development, printing technology and applications.

Source: CLIP /...

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