Gold is a precious metal that is used in the electronics industry due to its stability characteristics. In this report we look at the opportunity for gold-based inks in the printed electronics space, assessing its potential penetration in applications varying from thin film transistors to emerging photovoltaics, photo-detectors and other types of sensors.
This report is looking to identify and assess the opportunities for a printable nano-gold ink, excluding its use in graphic arts applications.
Compelling benefits highlighted by potential users in our interviews are its high stability - unlike silver there is no crystal growth which is often damaging when interfacing with other materials- and no tarnishing, leading to high reliability and longevity. It has a high work function making it of particular interest as an electrode in many printed architectures. It is also of interest to those working with organic materials as these are prone to failure over time when interfaced with silver electrodes due to migration issues.
However, gold's high cost is an important disadvantage -starting with the costs for the bulk material. In fact, prices for silver inks are already considered too high, with efforts underway to identify solutions such as copper-based inks in order to reduce costs. Despite this, we have identified several market opportunities where the benefits of using gold could potentially outweigh the higher cost.
Market size of gold conductive ink for electrical and electronic applications US$ millions*
*For the full data set please purchase this report
There are several organizations using nano-particle gold inks today, but most of the work is R&D and some way from commercialisation. Suppliers of gold ink today that are selling ink commercially -albeit in small quantities- include NanoMas Technologies Inc, Johnson Matthey and Harima (inkjet-printed inks). Screen printable versions are also available (such as from Electroscience Ltd, UK). In addition to these, some companies have formulated gold inks in-house or supply gold inks to a few key customers, but do not make them available commercially.
All these companies are profiled and/or interviewed in this report, giving insight in the role that gold inks will play in future electronics applications.
Forecasts to 2019 are also included in this report, highlighting the most relevant applications in which the performance benefis of gold-based inks could outweigh its inherent high cost.
This report would be very useful to developers of gold inks, but also to companies who consider moving away from ink solutions based on other metals due to issues relating to their performance. The stability (no tarnishing, no oxidizing) that gold inks provide could be the non-compromising solution that, if applied in a way that doesn't utilise large amounts of the bulk material, could establish routes to becoming cost effective in niche markets.
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