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New Opportunities for Gold: Conductive Inks for the Electronics Industry 2013-2019

IDTechEx
Published Date » 2012-11-12
No. Of Pages » 72

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 it's potential penetration in applications varying from thin film transistors to emerging photovoltaics, photo-detectors and other types of sensors.

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 it's 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.
 
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.
TABLE OF CONTENT

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1.1. Situation Today
1.2. Market Opportunities

2. GOLD INK: METRICS AND COMPARISONS WITH SILVER AND COPPER

3. PRINTED ELECTRONICS: MARKETS OVERVIEW AND SIZE
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Definitions
3.3. Total market opportunity

4. POTENTIAL GOLD INK APPLICATIONS IN PRINTED ELECTRONICS
4.1. Transistors and Memory
4.2. Transistor and Memory academic research
4.3. OLED Displays/Lighting
4.4. Photovoltaics
4.5. Gold prospects in Photovoltaics
4.5.1. ENSOL
4.5.2. Use of gold in thin film PV
4.6. Conductors, edge connectors, sensors, stretchable electronics
4.7. Sensors Applications utilizing gold
4.7.1. ETH Zurich
4.7.2. Imperial College London
4.7.3. MC10, USA
4.7.4. Stretchable electronics and gold
4.8. Other - Piezoelectric energy harvesters
4.9. IBM Nano-printing of gold

5. MARKET FORECASTS FOR GOLD NANOPARTICLE INKS, 2013-2019
5.1. Market Assessments
5.2. Printed transistors and memory
5.3. Electrochemical Sensors including Organic Photodetectors
5.4. Other conductor applications
5.5. Further Comments
5.6. Conclusions

6. COMPANY PROFILES
6.1. ElectroScience Ltd
6.2. Harima
6.3. Johnson Matthey
6.4. Liquid X Printed Metals Inc.
6.5. Nanomade
6.6. NanoMas
6.7. Noritake
6.8. ULVAC

APPENDIX 1: IDTECHEX PUBLICATIONS AND CONSULTANCY

List of Tables

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