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Home > Press > Materials for Printable Electronics to Reach $1.9 Billion

Market for inks, substrates and other materials used in printable electronics is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2010 rising to $8.9 billion in 2013

Materials for Printable Electronics to Reach $1.9 Billion

Glen Allen, VA | Posted on December 15, 2005

The market for inks, substrates and other materials used in printable electronics is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2010 rising to $8.9 billion in 2013, according to a new report from NanoMarkets, LC, a market research firm based here. Information about the report including its first chapter, which is available for download, can be found at

Why the Fuss About Materials?

NanoMarkets' report notes that the next few years represent a key period for the Printable Electronics (PE) business as a whole. Crucial development work has to take place at the materials level in order for future revenue opportunities to be realized for all segments of the value chain. Materials and production issues in many ways are the limiting factor for what PE will ultimately enable, namely, electronics anywhere they are needed. PE will generate numerous opportunities for materials and specialty chemicals firms and will also help bring new business revenues to the printing industry. And, while the industry remains focused on applications such as displays and RFID, PE also provides the means for innovative companies to create the next break-out application that generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue in the blink of an eye.

Other Findings:

  • Applications make the materials. Some of the highest potential applications for printable electronics have very demanding requirements for materials. For example, flexible displays obviously require flexible substrates, but they also need inks that do not easily crack when dry. Printed RFIDs will be created on high-speed printing machinery that places strict requirements on ink viscosity. NanoMarkets believes that such needs will help drive both the demand and R&D dollars in the novel inks sector.
  • New directions for inks. Printable electronics inks already exhibit good stability and performance. Nanoparticle inks have shown good conductivity and curing properties in actual products. However, NanoMarkets expects that the rapidly growing PE business will lead to an arrival on the market of new inks with even better performance and suitability to specific applications. These will include inks based on oligomers, small molecules, and a variety of traditional metals and semiconductors. By 2010, the ink segment of the PE materials market alone will be worth over $700 million.
  • Plastic substrates to dominate. NanoMarkets' report states that the lion's share of the opportunities for printable electronics substrates will be found in plastic substrates, revenues from which are expected to reach $735 million by 2010. This is an area where NanoMarkets sees business flowing to those who can show the best performance in a number of areas, especially flexibility, smoothness and antistatic properties.
  • Electronics on paper. Over the next eight-years, NanoMarkets expects paper and card to become an increasingly important substrate for printable electronics. This will be required as printable electronics quickly finds its way into smart packaging, greeting cards and other novelties. Printable electronics on a paper substrate may even be the ultimate in electronic paper. To make this happen, however, paper manufacturers will have to come up with special coated papers suitable for taking electronic inks.
  • Printable electronics for actual printers. At present, interest in printable electronics is mainly confined to specialists, who feel comfortable with the complex chemistries involved. However, NanoMarkets believes that the rise of "user friendly" inks and substrates will be one of the most important catalysts that will propel printable electronics into the mainstream printing industry and garner more attention from both printers and printing equipment. This will enable conventional printers to generate new revenues from prototyping and build printable electronics inline with their graphics facilities.

About the Report:

NanoMarkets' new report, "Materials and Substrates for Printable Electronics: Opportunities and Markets," provides a thorough analysis of market opportunities available in printable electronics for a wide range of materials including nano-metallic silver and polymer inks, as well as other inks made from metals, organic materials and standard semiconductors. It also provides in-depth coverage of evolving substrates for printable electronics including glass, plastic, paper and even niche substrates such as wood, metal and wearable fabrics. Finally, the report covers other materials that are used in printable electronics including solvents, adhesives, etc. In order to cover the broadest range of opinion, the report is based on in-depth interviews of firms throughout the entire value chain including materials, manufacturing equipment, printable electronic device and finished products companies.

The report includes an analysis of how materials for printable electronics technology are likely to evolve over the coming decade, forecasts through 2013 of all the major material types used in printed electronics, including breakouts by application and chemistry, and a guide to which companies are active in this space now and what they are doing.

Among the materials firms currently pursuing opportunities in this space are 3M, Advanced Nano Products, BASF, Cabot, Dow, DuPont, Merck, Plextronics, Sun Chemical and others, with many more eyeing the market. However, while this report will be essential reading for firms in the specialty chemicals and materials business, it will also be invaluable for device manufacturers and OEMs seeking to understand how new developments in printable materials will impact their product strategies, as well as traditional printers and printing equipment firms looking for profitable new diversifications for their business. VCs and others that are investing in the printable electronics space will also find this an important resource.

Please visit for additional information or contact Robert Nolan at (804) 360-2967. Members of the press may receive an executive summary upon request or schedule an interview with the report's author by emailing

Robert Nolan
(804) 360-2967

Copyright NanoMarkets

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