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Chemical and Component Opportunities in Asia

19.11.2012 -

Materials - As Asia has dominated in displays, photovoltaics, semiconductor manufacture and other technology sectors, so too will it dominate in making and integrating better components and consumer electronics using the new materials that are enabling devices to be lighter, more robust, flexible, more power efficient and higher performance. Some of these most exciting material developments and their uses were covered at Printed Electronics Asia 2012, held in Tokyo on October 2-3.

Organic and Metal Oxide Semiconductors
R&D on organic semiconductors is strong in East Asia, where display companies are pursuing this for TFT backplanes for flexible displays. Some of the world's leading companies, such as Merck, Samsung, Solvay and Hitachi Chemical presented their latest achievements in organic and inorganic semiconductors. Indeed, speakers also covered progress with metal oxide semiconductors for large area and transparent electronics.

The Future of Transparent Conductors
Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) is 93% of the $1.63 billion transparent conductive film market in 2012. Indium is subject to supply restriction and its price has varied by a magnitude in the last ten years. It is required primarily for photovoltaics, displays and touch screen applications - enormous markets. Alternatives to ITO include transparent organic materials, finely printed conductive mesh, and other ways of patterning metal ‘strands'. Some even use copper rather than silver to reduce cost. Others are progressing carbon nanotubes and graphene as a viable alternative. Speakers such as SWeNT, Osaka University and IDTechEx assessed these options and the opportunity and competitive nature of these technologies.

OLED Displays and Lighting
It has taken twenty years for LED lighting to become 3% of the $80 billion global lighting market, but it is now exponentially growing, appearing in everything from car headlights to home lighting to street lighting. What is the impact on OLED lighting? Will those in OLED lighting achieve efficiencies, yields and lifetimes fast enough before LED becomes ingrained? Printing is already being applied to LED lighting for connectors and even printing LEDs themselves. Others are mounting LEDs on flexible substrates. But will the thermal problems restrict the applicability of LED lighting on flexible substrates, paving the way for OLED lighting there? Who is investing in OLED lighting manufacturing? The lighting developers debated the topic at the event, covering opportunities for printed electronics in both LED and OLED lighting and its relation to old displays and the latest progress there.

New Materials and Applications
Other new material and component developments from companies such as Dow Chemical, Corning, AIST and many others - all selectively invited gave attendees a current view on the latest developments.
The market opportunities for these materials and the components they make were assessed, from in depth market research presentations given by IDTechEx, Navigant Consulting, NREL and others.
The next IDTechEx Event to take place is the Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics USA 2012 Show, Dec. 5-6, in Santa Clara, USA. For more information visit www.printedelectronicsusa.com.

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