Printed, Flexible And Organic Electronics Report

Conductive Ink Markets 2013-2018: Forecasts, Technologies, Players

Silver & copper inks & pastes and beyond
"Printed conductive inks will be a $2.86 billion market in 2012, rising to $3.36 billion in 2018"
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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.
Who should buy this report?
Ink developer and suppliers
Manufactures (screen printers, inkjet printers, etc)
Those active in the value chain for developing:
  • ITO replacements
  • Photovoltaics
  • RFID
  • Photovoltaics
  • Logic and memory
  • Interactive or smart packaging
Conductive inks markets 2012-2018
We analyse the following markets for conductive inks:
  • Memory
  • Smart packaging
  • RFID
  • Sensors - imaging
  • Sensors - temperature
  • Sensors - gas
  • Sensors = Tens Machine, ECG, Tabs
  • Sensors - Glucose Sensors
  • Bus Bars - OPV
  • Bus Bars - CdTe
  • ITO replacement - touch screens, other
  • ITO replacement - touch screens, laptops
  • ITO replacement - DSSC
  • ITO replacement - a-Si PV
  • ITO replacement - large-sized LCD screens
  • Bus Bars - c-Si PV
  • Thin Film Transistors
  • Automotive
  • Sensors - consumer electronics
  • Sensors - force and strain
  • Sensors - environmental and emission
  • Sensors - skin patches
  • Sensors - balloons, dental, genetic, breath
  • Bus Bars - DSSC
  • Bus Bars - CIGS
  • Bus Bars - a-Si
  • ITO replacement - touch screen, tablet
  • ITO replacement - touch screen, mobile
  • ITO replacement - OPV
  • ITO replacement - Flexible display and lighting
  • ITO replacement - small-sized LCD screens
Market value share for conductive inks in all applications 2013*
*For the full forecast data please purchase this report
Source: IDTechEx
Forecast for conductive silver flake inks in all applications in US$ millions*
*For the full forecast data please purchase this report
Source: IDTechEx
Further information
If you have any questions about this report, please do not hesitate to contact our report team at or call Clare on +44 (0) 1223 813 703 if you are based in EMEA or Raoul on +1 617 577 7890 if you are based in the Americas, ROW or Spain.
Analyst access from IDTechEx
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Table of Contents
1.1.Product overview
1.2.Silver flake inks continue to reign supreme
1.3.New inks will slowly penetrate the market
1.5.ITO Replacement
1.6.RFID Tags
1.7.Logic and Memory
1.9.Smart packaging
2.1.Silver Flakes
2.1.2.Printing Technique
2.1.4.Market Drivers
2.1.5.Summary (SWOT)
2.2.Nanoparticle Silver Ink
2.2.1.High Conductivity
2.2.2.Reduced Sintering Temperature
2.2.3.Enhanced Flexibility
2.2.4.Inkjet Printability
2.2.5.Improved Surface Smoothness
2.2.6.Material Savings
2.2.8.Production Methods
2.2.9.Market Drivers
2.2.10.Summary (SWOT)
2.3.Silver Nanowire
2.3.4.Fabrication and Printability
2.3.5.Market Drivers
2.3.6.Summary (SWOT)
2.4.Silver Ion Inks
2.5.Copper Nanoparticles
2.6.1.Processing Benefits
2.6.2.Market Drivers
2.6.3.Summary (SWOT)
2.7.Copper Nanowire
2.8.Copper Oxide Nanoparticle Ink
2.9.Silver-Coated Copper Nanoparticles
2.10.3.Graphene and carbon nanotube are transparent conductors
3.1.The Big Picture
3.2.Many Different Photovoltaic Technologies
3.3.Big numbers are involved
3.4.Crystalline silicon
3.5.Printed Conductive Tracks
3.6.Material Set
3.7.Market Shares for Conductive Inks
3.8.Market Value
3.9.Thin film Photovoltaics
4.1.1.The Big Picture
4.2.Market Drivers
4.3.Market Share
4.3.2.The market value
5.1.The Big Picture
5.1.2.Market Share and Market Drivers
5.1.3.Market Value
6.1.The big picture
6.2.Material Options and Market Shares
6.3.Market Value
7.1.The Big Picture
7.2.Material Set and Market Share
7.3.Market Value
8.1.The Big Picture
8.2.Market Value
9.1.Advanced Nano Products
9.3.Applied Nanotech Inc
9.4.Asahi Glass Corporation
9.5.Asahi Kasei
9.8.Chang Sung Corporation
9.9.Cima Nanotech
9.10.Creative Materials
9.11.DuPont Microcircuit Materials
9.14.Hitachi Chemical
9.15.Kishu Giken Kogyo Co.,Ltd.
9.16.Liquid X Printed Metals, Inc
9.17.Indium Corporation
9.19.Intrinsiq Materials
9.21.NanoMas Technologies
9.24.Novacentrix PulseForge
9.27.Showa Denko
9.28.Sun Chemical
10.1.Applied Materials Baccini
10.2.Blue Nano
10.3.Cambrios Technology
10.4.Conductive Compounds
10.5.Creative Materials
10.7.Intrinsiq Materials
10.8.Methode Electronics
10.11.PChem Associates
10.12.Sun Chemical
10.13.Tokusen USA Inc
10.14.UT Dots
1.1.Product Overview
1.2.Forecast for conductive inks in all applications in US$ millions
1.3.Forecast for conductive silver flake inks in all applications in US$ millions
1.4.Market forecast for silver nanostructure inks in US$ millions
1.5.Market forecast for copper nanoparticle inks
2.1.Possible market drives for silver flake inks for different applications
2.2.Merits of silver flake inks
2.3.Conductivity of nanoparticle silver inks
2.4.Parameters of each production method
2.5.Main processing categories of nanoparticles
2.6.Processing category by parameter
2.7.Possible market drivers for silver nanoparticle inks for different applications
2.8.Merits of silver nanoparticle inks
2.9.Merits of silver nanowires
2.10.Possible market drivers for silver nanoparticle inks
2.11.The merits of copper nanoparticle inks
2.12.Comparison of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene
3.1.IDTechEx qualitative and quantitative analysis of the market in both the medium- and long-term
3.2.Key characteristics of different PV technologies
3.3.A range of different materials can be used as conductors
4.1.Reasons for and against replacing ITO
5.1.Possible market drivers for replacing ITO
7.1.Application of conductive inks in vehicles
8.1.Attributes of the available technologies
9.1.Screen Printable Silver Paste
9.2.Other Silver Pastes
9.3.Inkjet Printable Inks
9.4.Applied Nanotech products
9.5.Ferro's metal products
9.6.Outline of Noritake product list
9.7.ULVAC product table
9.8.Properties of curing layer (Data provided hereunder is for reference only and not guarantee)
1.1.Forecast for conductive inks in all applications in US$ millions
1.2.Forecast for conductive silver flake inks in all applications in US$ millions
1.3.Market forecast for silver nanostructure inks in US$ millions
1.4.Market forecast for copper nanoparticle inks
1.5.Copper and silver nanostructures market value in US$ billions
2.1.General trends in silver flake inks
2.2.Silver flake ink prices from 1975
2.3.Examples of printed and sintered silver nanoparticle inks
2.4.Melting temperature as a function of gold particle size
2.5.Nanoparticles can fill in the gaps to reduce resistivity
2.6.Improving surface smoothness
2.7.Nanoparticle silver prices $ per g
2.8.Examples of nanowire networks
2.9.Silver nanowires as transparent conductors
2.10.Flexibility of silver nanowires
2.11.Conductivity depends on the concentration of silver nanowires
2.12.Possible market drivers for silver nanowires inks for different applications
2.13.Silver ion ink
2.14.Comparing the surface finish between a ion-silver ink (left) and a conventional ink (right).
2.15.Anti-reflectors used in plasma displays
2.16.Carbon nanoparticles
2.17.Copper nanoparticle prices ($/kg)
2.18.Examples of copper nanowires
2.19.Novacentrix RFID antennas
2.20.Silver-coated copper nanoparticles
2.21.The conductivity levels of PDOT:PSS has progressively improved.
2.22.PDOT:PSS is transparent
2.23.PDOT:PSS is flexible
2.25.Carbon Nanotubes
2.26.Comparing transmittance of graphene and carbon nanotube relative to ITO.
2.27.Transmittance-Resistivity performance of graphene
2.28.Transmittance-resistivity performance of carbon nanotubes
2.29.Graphene and carbon nanotubes are flexible
3.1.IDTechEx forecast of the PV market as a whole. The next 2-3 years are marked by slow growth
3.2.Market share for different PV technologies. Mono-Si refers to crystalline silicon, which includes single and polycrystalline PV.
3.3.Market share for different thin film PV technologies as a function of year
3.4.Number of 6" inch PV wafers ( or equivalent if not a wafer based technology) installed per year
3.5.Typical crystalline silicon PV structure
3.6.Crystalline silicon 'bus bars' grid pattern
3.7.The ink is spread over the squeegee and pushed through the screen printing mesh
3.8.The schematic process flow for printing conductive tracks on PVs
3.9.Green, yellow and red represent known, developing and unknown technologies, respectively.
3.10.Nanoparticle market share (%)
3.11.Silver nanoparticles are likely to remain a premium option going into the future.
3.12.Plated copper will gain market share as the PV technology evolves to enable plating.
3.13.Market share by ink type. Silver flakes capture the remaining 75% not shown in this figure.
3.14.Market value for different types of silver and copper conductors used in the crystalline PV industry
3.15.The amount of inks used in the crystalline PV industry
3.16.Materials used in thin film PV
3.17.Market forecast for use of inks as bus bars in thin film photovoltaics (by ink type).
4.1.Market value and displays size
4.2.Capacitive Touch Screens
4.3.Resistive Touch
4.4.Numbers of touch screen displays
4.5.Total area of touch screen displays
4.6.Silver nanowire-enabled touch screens. The materials are supplied Cambrios.
4.7.A PDOT:PSS based touch screen demonstrated by Heraeus
4.8.A graphene based touch screen demonstrated at the Sungkyunkwan University
4.9.Carbon nanotube based transparent conductor which could be used in a touch screen.
4.10.Technology market share
4.11.Mobile phone market share
4.12.Tablets market share
4.13.Touch enabled laptop market share
4.14.Market value in US$ millions
5.1.Total amount of TF PV surface coverage required between 2012 and 2018
5.2.Cross-sections of the main thin film photovoltaic technologies
5.3.Konarka and VTT have used Cambrios nanowire
5.4.a-Si market share
5.5.OPV market share
5.6.DSSC market share
5.7.Market value forecasts
6.1.Inductive and electric antenna
6.2.Examples of HF antennas
6.3.Examples of UHF antennas
6.4.The approximate cost breakdown of different components in a typical UHF RFID tag
6.5.IDTechEx projections of the growth in the number of RFID tags
6.6.Key attributes of various materials
6.7.Material costs for making the antenna (excludes processing and substrate costs)
6.8.Market share for copper (and aluminium)
6.9.Market share for silver flake inks
6.10.Market share for nanoparticle copper
6.11.Market share for copper oxide
6.12.Total market shares
6.13.Antenna market value
7.1.Application of conductive inks in vehicles
7.2.Market uptake in the medium term
7.3.IDTechEx market value forecast
8.1.Conductive inks in smart and electronic packaging
8.2.Market share forecasts
8.3.Market value of conductive inks in the smart packaging and brand enhancement market segment
9.1.Resistivity vs. cure temperature for glass-coated silver nanoparticles
9.2.Cross-section of Cougar cell architecture using innovalight Silicon Ink (drawing not to scale)
9.3.Internal Quantum Efficiency of a standard cell compared to a selective emitter cell
9.4.The Pulse Forge principle
9.5.Poly-Ink primer layer on top of a rough substrate
9.6.Flexographic formulation of Vor-Ink from Vorbeck
9.7.Packaging Natralock┬« with Siren™ Technology

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Report Statistics

-Forecasts to2018
-Last updateFeb 2013


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