Printed Electronics: A Fascinating Technology with a Promising Future
Printed electronics as functional printing is an excellent example of groundbreaking printing techniques. In summary, it is understood to mean electrical/electronic components manufactured using “printable” functional fluids (“materials”). The individual layers required for the components are made using known printing processes, such as screen, flexo, gravure and inject printing and can be both insulating, electrically conductive and semi-conductive. We have been working with this future-oriented topic since 2017, specializing in the combination of printed components and elements of conventional electronics – hybrid or PolyTronic, as it were.
Components that belong to the “printed electronics” category include special conductor tracks and electrode structures, batteries, sensors, heating elements, NFC antennas, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), organic photovoltaics (OPV) and transistors. If you compare, for example, the printed transistor with that of conventional electronics, the smallest transistor that can be produced using printing processes is a thousand times larger (µm range) than those in conventional electronics (nm range).
Printed Electronics: Opportunities Beyond the Classic Approach
You have done it: There are now numerous areas of application in which printed and organic electronics are used. Its advantages, such as compactness, cost and energy efficiency even pave the way for it into the broad mass markets and open up undreamt-of technical and design possibilities for many industries. Form and shape, such as for printed batteries or antennas, are almost unlimited. In addition to the current OLED televisions fitted with OLED components that are vacuum-evaporated, this applies, for instance, to:
- Temperature sensors for food packaging
- Electronic product label to protect against counterfeiting
- Extremely thin and flexible displays
- Luminous foils
- Printed sensors and antennas for the automotive industry
- Printed batteries
- And much more
Printed Electronics at the Witte Group
Although the core area of the Witte Group was (and still is) label and security printing, we decided early on to include printed electronics in our service portfolio. As a result, we quickly realized that there are interesting synergies between the different segments, particularly with regard to digital and printed security features. At the moment we offer printed batteries, NFC antennas, sensor elements, smart packaging (SmartPack) and partly SmartLabel, while we are developing parallel complex components. We mainly rely on R2R screen and flexo as well as S2S screen printing.
Would you like to learn more about the topic? Then do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts will be happy to answer your questions. Of course, this also applies if you would like non-binding advice on another of our numerous specialist areas: from thermal transfer printers to self-adhesive label solutions to printed electronics, we are here for you!