Conductive inks are a simple and unglamorous layer but they will constitute a hefty $2.86 billion market in 2012. This market is forecasted to rise to $3.36 billion in 2018, with $735 million captured by new silver and copper nanostructure inks.
These values make conductive inks the most successful segment of all printed electronics, surpassing the likes of printable OLEDs, photovoltaics, displays, etc. This is because conductive inks find use in a great variety of end applications, including RFID, photovoltaics, sensors, vehicles, smart packages, flexible display and lighting and touch screens. This enormous diversity reflects the simple fact that all electronic devices require multiple layers of interconnects.
This multiplicity of market requirements has resulted in the introduction of many types of inks, each offering their own set of characteristics and uniques. Innovation in the field of nanotechnology has largely enabled this high level of product differentiation. Indeed, the market today contains graphene, carbon nanotubes, and silver and copper nanostructure (nanoparticle and nanowire) inks, all of which have one or two dimensions in the nanoscale.
Silver flake inks serve the largest and most mature markets. For example, the crystalline silicon solar cell industry alone consumes approximately 1,100 metric tonnes of silver flake inks. On the other hand, emerging inks are slowly penetrating the market by either displacing an existing product (e.g., indium tin oxide) and/or enabling new markets based on their attributes of higher conductivity, inkjet printability, flexibility, and/or enhanced surface smoothness.
This report provides an in-depth review of printable conductive inks. For each ink, we cover the underlying technology including an overview of the fabrication process; assess their strengths and weaknesses; identify and analyse key technology and market drivers; and provide guidelines for price development in the future.
We then assess and forecast the markets requiring silver and copper inks. We take a very granular approach in our assessment, looking into each sub-market in great depth and building our forecasting bottom up.
The markets covered include crystalline and thin film photovoltaics, RFID, logic and memory, touch screens, displays, vehicles, consumer electronics, sensors and smart packaging.
Moreover, in each market segment, we forecast the market share by ink technology using our assessment of technology drivers, end-user requirements, and estimated price points. This enables us to forecast the value captured by each ink technology in each application.
Ink developer and suppliers
Manufactures (screen printers, inkjet printers, etc)
Those active in the value chain for developing:
- ITO replacements
- Logic and memory
- Interactive or smart packaging