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Flexible, Printed and Thin Film Batteries 2019-2029

Flexible, Thin, Stretchable, Rollable, Bendable, Foldable, Micro- and Large-Area Batteries for Applications in Wearable Devices, Skin Patches, Healthcare and Cosmetics, Internet of Things and People, Portable Electronics, RFID, Smart Packaging and more

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The battery market has suddenly become alive again in recent years. On one hand, batteries are moving to new form factors, becoming ultra-thin, flexible, rollable, stretchable, etc. On the other hand, manufacturers are scrambling to offer large batteries aimed at addressing the large-sized electric vehicle, residential and grid applications. This market study is focused on the former. IDTechEx has been tracking the technology development, market progress and player activities of global flexible, thin-film, printed batteries (or batteries with novel form factors) since 2014.
Figure 1: Market descriptions by territory
Source: IDTechEx
Flexible, thin and/or printed batteries (or batteries with novel form factors) are back on the agenda thanks to the rise of Internet of Things, wearables and environmental sensors. These applications require new features and battery designs that traditional battery technologies simply cannot provide. This has opened the door to innovation and added a new dimension to the global competition between battery suppliers.
Transforming industry
This is a fast-changing industry, with its technologies in a state of rapid progress as new designs, methods and modified chemistries are frequently announced. The business landscape is also being dramatically altered as many companies are now gearing up to progress their lab scale technologies into mass production. These are exciting years for this emerging technology.
The composition of the target market is undergoing drastic change, driven by the emergence of new addressable market categories. Traditionally, the micro-power thin and printed batteries were used in skin patches, RFID tags and smart cards. Today, however, many new emerging applications have appeared, enticing many large players to enter the foray and thus transforming a business landscape that was once populated predominantly by small firms.
IDTechEx provides detailed technology assessment and benchmarking, ten-year market forecasts segmented by application and technology type, and detailed interview-based business intelligence and profiles on key players and large end-users.
In this study IDTechEx has drawn upon at least 27 direct interviews and visits with key suppliers and large end-users from a variety of sectors and years of accumulated experience and market knowledge for the end use applications such as active RFIDs, smart cards, skin patches, smart packaging and recently wearables and IoT. Our team working on this project is highly technical, enabling it to fully understand the merits and challenges of each technology in this complex landscape.
Complex landscape to navigate
The market and technology landscape are complex. There are no black-and-white and clear technology winners and the definition of market requirements is in a constant state of flux.
Indeed, on the technology side, there are many solutions that fall within the broad category of thin film, flexible or printed batteries. These include printed batteries, thin-film batteries, advanced lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, micro-batteries, stretchable batteries, thin flexible supercapacitors and a few more. It is therefore a confusing technology landscape to navigate and betting on the right technology is not straightforward.
On the market side, many applications are still emerging, and the requirements are fast evolving. The target markets are also very diverse and not overlapping, each with different requirements for power, lifetime, thinness, cost, charging cycles, reliability, flexibility, etc. This diversity of requirements means that no thin film battery offers a one-size-fits-all solution.
Figure 2: Applications of batteries with new form and structural factors
Source: IDTechEx
Wearable technology and electronic textiles are a major growth area for thin film and flexible batteries. Conventional secondary batteries may meet the energy requirements of wearable devices, but they struggle to achieve flexibility, thinness and light weight. These new market requirements open up the space for energy storage solutions with novel form factors. Indeed, the majority of thin-film battery companies tell us that they have on-going projects in the wearable technology field. High-energy thin film batteries have the highest potential here followed by printed rechargeable zinc batteries, provided the latter can improve.
The healthcare sector is also a promising target market. Skin patches using printed batteries are already a commercial reality, while IDTechEx anticipates that the market for disposable medical devices requiring micro-power batteries will also expand. This is a hot space as the number of skin patch companies is rapidly rising. Here, printed zinc batteries have the highest potential but price needs to continue falling before a higher market uptake takes place. Here too, new form factors will be the key differentiator, compared to the high-volume incumbents such as coin cell batteries. Medical diagnostic devices, medical sensors are also promising markets, although the current thin battery technology is not mature enough yet to be applied straightaway.
Wireless sensor/network applications is another important trend especially combining special form factor and harsh temperature requirements. Here, there is a trend to combine energy harvesting with thin batteries with superior form factors.
Active and battery-assisted passive RFID is also a potential target market, although coin-cells are the main solutions unless there is a stringent requirement for laminar or flexible design such as in car plates. It is also in these small niches that thin film batteries might find a place.
Smart cards also remain an attractive sector and several thin-film battery technologies have been optimised to meet the lamination requirements for card manufacture. The price is however too steep to enable widespread market penetration. The emerging of online and mobile banking carries a long-term threat of substitution.
Technology assessment
IDTechEx provides a detailed assessment of all the key energy storage technologies that fall under the broad category of thin film, flexible or printed batteries. It provides a critical and quantitative analysis and benchmarks different solutions.
Market forecasts
IDTechEx has developed detailed and granular market forecasts segmented by technology type as well as end use applications. These forecasts are based on (a) primary information obtained through our direct interview programme with suppliers and end-users, attending conferences globally and also organising our own conferences on wearable technologies, RFIDs and printed electronics; and (b) a critical technical assessment of competing technologies.
The technologies and end use applications covered are:
  • Wearables and electronic textiles
  • Medical and cosmetic
  • Portable electronics
  • Internet of Things, wireless sensors and connected devices
  • RFID
  • Smart card
  • Smart packaging interactive media, toys, games, cards
  • Others
Technologies included in this report:
  • LiPON-based
  • Stackable thin-film battery
  • 2D and 3D Micro-battery
  • Primary Li/CFx micro-battery
  • Flexible lithium-ion battery
  • Thin and flexible alkaline battery
  • Lithium manganese disposable battery
  • Laminated packaged lithium-polymer cells
  • Batteries with highly conductive polymer gel electrolyte
  • Solid-state battery
  • Cable-type battery
  • Large-area multi-stacked textile battery
  • Stretchable battery
  • Foldable Kirigami lithium-ion battery
  • Fibre-shaped lithium-ion battery that can be woven into electronic textiles
  • Printed zinc-carbon disposable battery
  • Printed silver zinc battery
  • Printed rechargeable NMH battery
  • Needle battery
  • Transparent battery
  • Laminar fuel cells
  • Thin and flexible supercapacitor
  • Printed supercapacitors
Business Intelligence
IDTechEx has interviewed and profiled 27 suppliers and end-users. In addition, IDTechEx has also listed and described 75 companies.
Analyst access from IDTechEx
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Further information
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Table of Contents
1.2.Thin-film, flexible, printed batteries, and beyond
1.3.Structure of the report
1.4.Who should read this report
1.5.Research methodology
1.6.Future Direction of Battery Development
1.7.Status of battery markets
1.8.Thin, flexible and printed batteries are describing different aspects of battery features
1.9.Major drivers for the development of new-form-and-structural-factor batteries
1.10.Status of flexible batteries
1.11.Value proposition
1.12.Challenges and difficulties
1.13.Battery safety
1.14.Samsung's firegate
1.15.Development roadmap of batteries
1.16.Application market roadmap
1.17.Consumer electronics giants are moving into flexible batteries
1.18.LG Chem's offerings
1.19.Apple's contributions
1.20.Samsung — never falling behind
1.21.Nokia's approach
1.22.Threats from other power sources
1.23.Typical specifications for a CR2032 lithium coin battery
1.24.Coin cell or thin battery, that is the question
1.25.Advantages and limitations of supercapacitors
1.26.Are supercapacitors threats to batteries?
1.27.Trends towards multiple energy harvesting
1.28.Comparison of different power options
1.29.Technologies included in the report
1.30.Technology benchmarking
1.31.Business model
1.32.A practical battery is a combination of many considerations
1.33.Strategies for battery providers focusing on new form and structural factors
1.34.Market by territory
1.35.Price perspectives
1.36.Addressable market
1.37.Market forecast assumptions
1.38.Market forecast 2019-2029 by application (number of units)
1.39.Market value forecast 2019-2029 by application
1.40.Market by application in 2019 and 2029
1.41.Market value forecast 2019-2029 by technology
2.1.What is a battery?
2.2.Glossary of terms - specifications
2.3.Useful charts for performance comparison
2.4.Battery categories
2.5.Commercial battery packaging technologies
2.6.Comparison of commercial battery packaging technologies
2.7.Electrode design & architecture: important for different applications
2.8.Electrochemical inactive components in the battery
2.9.Primary vs secondary batteries
2.10.Popular battery chemistries
2.11.Primary battery chemistries and common applications
2.12.Numerical specifications of popular rechargeable battery chemistries
2.13.Battery technology benchmark
2.14.Nomenclature for lithium-based rechargeable batteries
2.15.Lithium-ion & lithium metal batteries
2.16.Lithium-ion batteries
3.2.A big obstacle — energy density
3.3.Battery technology is based on redox reactions
3.4.Electrochemical reaction is essentially based on electron transfer
3.5.Electrochemical inactive components reduce energy density
3.6.The importance of an electrolyte in a battery
3.7.Cathode & anode need to have structural order
3.8.Failure story about metallic lithium anode
4.1.A thin battery is usually flexible to some extent
4.2.Typical thicknesses of the traditional battery components
4.3.Design differences between thin-film batteries and bulk-size batteries
4.4.Areal energy density vs. cell thickness
4.5.Shortcomings of thin-film batteries
4.6.Units used to characterize thin-film batteries
4.7.Comparison of various solid-state lithium-based batteries
4.8.Solid-State Thin-Film Lithium Battery
4.9.Most successful commercial thin-film battery
4.10.Players worked and working on thin-film lithium batteries
4.11.Construction of an ultra-thin lithium battery
4.12.Cathode material options for thin-film batteries
4.13.Cathode of thin film lithium battery
4.14.Anode of thin film lithium battery
4.15.Substrate options
4.16.Advantages and disadvantages of selected materials
4.17.Trend of materials and processes of thin-film battery in different companies
4.18.Ultra-thin micro-battery—NanoEnergy®
4.19.Micro-Batteries suitable for integration
4.20.From limited to mass production—STMicroelectronics
4.21.Summary of the EnFilm™ rechargeable thin-film battery
4.23.NGK's EnerCerachip
4.24.Thin-film solid-state batteries made by Excellatron
4.25.Johnson Battery Technologies
4.26.JBT's advanced technology performance
4.27.Capacity increase
4.28.Technology of Infinite Power Solutions
4.29.Cost comparison between a standard prismatic battery and IPS' battery
4.30.Manufacturing Approaches of Solid-State Thin-Film Lithium Batteries
4.31.Summary of main fabrication technique for thin film batteries
4.32.PVD processes for thin-film batteries
4.33.Thin-film battery potentials
5.1.Architectures of micro-batteries
5.2.Introduction to micro-batteries
5.3.3D printed lithium-ion micro-batteries
5.4.Primary Li/CFx micro-battery
6.1.Flexible electronics
6.2.Realization of batteries' mechanical properties
6.3.Thickness-Derived Flexibility
6.4.Stresses generated in a the battery during flexing
6.5.Material-Derived Flexibility
6.6.Comparison of a flexible LIB with a traditional one
6.8.Efforts on the electrolyte/ separator
6.9.Solid-state electrolyte
6.10.Safety of solid-state batteries
6.11.Improvement of solid-state battery
6.12.Comparison of organic and inorganic solid-state electrolyte
6.13.Polymer-based electrolytes
6.14.Bendable lithium-based battery
6.15.Lionrock Batteries
6.16.Highly conductive polymer gel electrolyte and lamination processes for roll-to-roll li-ion cell production
6.17.BrightVolt batteries
6.18.BrightVolt product matrix
6.20.Toes Opto-Mechatronics
6.21.Hitachi Zosen's solid-state electrolyte
6.22.Hitachi Zosen's batteries
6.23.Hitachi Maxell
6.24.Ohara / PolyPlus
6.25.Planar Energy
6.26.ProLogium: Solid-state lithium ceramic battery
6.27.LiPON-based solid-state batteries
6.28.Ilika's stacked solid-state micro-battery
6.29.Thin film vs. bulk solid-state batteries
6.30.Efforts on the electrodes
6.31.Innovative electrode
6.32.From electrode innovation to flexible batteries
6.33.Efforts on the current collectors
6.34.Carbon materials for current collectors
6.35.Thin and flexible alkaline battery developed by New Jersey Institute of Technology
6.36.Flexible battery achieved by anode materials
6.37.Efforts on the packaging
6.38.Lithium-polymer pouch cells
6.39.Techniques to fabricate aluminium laminated sheets
6.40.Packaging procedures for pouch cells
6.42.Showa Denko Packaging
6.43.Flexible lithium-ion battery from QinetiQ
6.44.Semiconductor Energy Laboratory
6.45.Flexible and foldable batteries: still working after being washed by the washing machine
6.46.Flexible pouch cells
6.47.LIBEST's flexible battery
6.48.Panasonic's flexible batteries
6.49.Flexibility enabled by packaging materials
6.51.Improvements of multiple components done by BattFlex
6.52.AMO's flexible and bendable batteries: innovations
6.53.AMO's flexible and bendable batteries: specifications
6.54.AMO's flexible and bendable batteries: safety test
6.55.AMO's flexible and bendable batteries: Product flow chart
6.56.Device-Design-Derived Flexibility
6.57.Cable-type batteries
6.58.Cable-type battery developed by LG Chem
6.59.Battery on wire
6.60.Huineng (Tianjin) Technology Development
6.61.Large-area multi-stacked textile battery for flexible and rollable applications
6.62.Stretchable lithium-ion battery — use spring-like lines
6.63.Foldable kirigami lithium-ion battery developed by Arizona State University
6.64.Flexible electrode assembly
6.65.Fibre-shaped lithium-ion battery that can be woven into electronic textiles
6.66.Stretchable batteries that stick to the skin like a band-aid
6.67.Flexible Battery Patent Analysis
6.68.Flexible battery patent application and publication trend
6.69.Flexible battery patent top assignees
6.70.Flexible battery important companies
6.71.Flexible battery geographic territories
6.72.Flexible battery portfolio value distribution
7.1.Printed battery technologies
7.2.Zinc-based printed batteries
7.3.Printed battery layout
7.4.Component options of printed batteries
7.5.Materials/compositions for printed batteries in research
7.6.Typical construction and reaction of printed disposable battery
7.7.Players in printed battery industry
7.8.Research strategy for development of printed batteries
7.9.Printed Battery Case Studies
7.10.Printed batteries from Fraunhofer ENAS
7.11.Fraunhofer ENAS' printed batteries
7.12.Varta Microbattery/Varta Storage
7.13.SoftBattery® from Enfucell
7.14.Blue Spark batteries
7.15.FlexEL LLC
7.16.Printed battery from Printed Energy
7.17.Paper batteries from Rocket Electric
7.19.Liten CEA Tech: printed battery
7.20.Rechargeable ZincPolyTM from Imprint Energy
7.21.Imprint Energy's technology innovations and specifications
7.22.Flexographically printed Zn/MnO2 battery
7.23.Screen printed secondary NMH batteries
7.24.Manufacturing Processes of Printed Batteries
7.25.Printing techniques
7.26.Descriptions of various printing techniques
7.27.Comparison of printing techniques
7.28.Throughput vs. feature size for typical printing processes
7.29.Advantages and disadvantages of printing techniques used for printed battery fabrication
7.30.Examples of production facilities
8.1.Needle battery from Panasonic
8.2.Batteries with optical properties
8.3.Transparent components for batteries
8.4.Transparent battery developed by Waseda University
8.5.Grid-like transparent lithium-ion battery
9.1.Laminar fuel cells
9.2.What is a capacitor
9.3.Comparison of construction diagrams of three basic types of capacitor
9.5.Electrolyte options for supercapacitors
9.6.Thin and flexible supercapacitor - PowerWrapper
9.7.Two product lines fill the power gap
9.8.Battery-like thin-film supercapacitor by Rice University
9.9.Printed supercapacitors
9.10.University of Southern California
9.11.Flexible, transparent supercapacitors
9.12.Biological supercapacitors for pacemakers
10.1.Main lithium producers and lithium sources
10.2.Cobalt - From ore to metal
10.3.Cathode materials for primary cells
10.4.Cathode materials for secondary cells
10.5.New cathode materials - FDK Corporation
10.6.Graphite for batteries
10.8.Anode alternatives - other carbon materials
10.9.Anode alternatives - silicon, tin and alloying materials
10.10.Summary of the electrolyte properties
10.11.Liquid electrolytes
10.12.Types of polymer electrolytes
10.13.Solid-state electrolytes
10.14.Gel Electrolytes
10.15.Binders - aqueous vs. non-aqueous
10.16.Current collectors
10.17.Current collectors and packaging
11.1.Introduction to Applications
11.1.1.Applications of battery with new form and structural factors
11.1.2.Power range for electronic and electrical devices
11.2.Wearables: Stagnating?
11.2.1.The growth of wearables
11.2.2.Changes towards wearable devices
11.2.3.Batteries are the main bottleneck of wearables
11.2.4.Wearables at different locations of a human body
11.2.5.Wearables: smart watch, wristband and bracelet
11.2.6.Battery requirements
11.2.7.Wrist-worn application examples with flexible batteries
11.2.8.Ankle/foot-worn application examples
11.2.9.Head/eye-worn application examples
11.2.10.Electronic apparel & glove and textiles
11.2.12.Other wearable application examples
11.2.13.Summary and conclusions for wearable applications
11.3.Medical and Cosmetic: Huge Opportunities?
11.3.1.Mobile healthcare: Huge growth potential
11.3.2.Cosmetic skin patches
11.3.3.Iontophoresis for cosmetics
11.3.4.Cardiovascular monitoring patch
11.3.5.Wireless inpatient monitoring
11.3.6.Temperature monitoring
11.3.7.Life Science Technology
11.3.8.Conformal displacement sensor
11.3.9.Medical skin patches - the dark horse
11.3.10.A list of increasing number of medical skin patch products
11.3.11.Medical implants
11.4.Consumer Electronics: What Next?
11.4.1.Future trend in battery for consumer electronics
11.4.2.Flexibility: Big giants' growing interest
11.4.3.Thinness is still required for now and future
11.4.4.Slim consumer electronics
11.4.5.New market: Thin batteries can help to increase the total capacity
11.4.6.Will modular phones be the direction of the future?
11.4.7.Thin and flexible supercapacitor for consumer electronics
11.5.From Sensors to Internet of Things
11.5.1.Something new vs Renamed world of mobile phones
11.5.2.Internet of Things
11.5.3.Batteries for IoT
11.5.4.Power supply options for WSN
11.5.5.Rod-shape battery - examples
11.5.6.Novel examples of thin batteries in IoT devices
11.5.7.Golf sensor patch powered by printed battery
11.5.8.Smart device powered by solid-state battery
11.5.9.Thoughts about thin and flexible batteries in novel devices
11.5.10.Maintenance-free wireless power for the IoT: Ready or not?
11.5.11.Micro-batteries integrated with energy harvesting devices
11.5.12.Real time clock backup, SRAM backup and microcontroller (MCU)
11.5.13.RFID sensors/ tags with thin batteries
11.5.14.Examples of thin batteries used in RFID tags/ sensors
11.6.Smart Packaging and Advertising
11.6.1.Smart packaging and advertising examples
11.6.2.Audio Paper™ developed by Toppan Printing
11.6.3.Case studies of power for smart packaging
11.7.Powered Smart Cards
11.7.1.Where will the powered smart cards go?
11.7.2.Arrangement of batteries in smart cards
11.7.3.Battery alternative solution
11.7.4.Changes in smart card field
11.8.Other Markets
11.8.1.Application examples
11.8.2.How about printed battery for other disposable applications
12.1.Companies that have stopped trading
15.1.List of global players with descriptions
16.2.BattFlex/Enerol nanotechnologies
16.3.Blue Spark
16.6.Enfucell Flexible Electronics
16.8.Fraunhofer ENAS, Technische Universitaet Chemnitz
16.9.Front Edge Technology
16.10.FullRiver Battery New Technology
16.11.Hitachi Zosen Corporation
16.12.Huizhou Markyn New Energy
16.13.Imprint Energy
16.16.Johnson Battery Technologies
16.17.Kalptree Energy
16.18.Lionrock Batteries
16.20.Paper Battery Company
16.22.Prelonic Technologies
16.24.Printed Energy
16.25.Rocket Electric

Report Statistics

Slides 515
Companies 27
Forecasts to 2029

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