Organic Electronics: Prospects and Opportunities
Oct 15, 2014 | Chemicals & Materials | Nikhil Kaitwade
Technology must evolve to keep up with the changing world. Organic electronics is the green revolution of technology that we have been waiting for. In the sphere of science and technology, organic electronics is a growing discipline that is picking up speed. The innovative science of organic electronics has the potential to revolutionize how we utilize electronic devices.
The use of organic in electronics is very evident in present techno-savvy gadgets, may it be smart watches, Samsung’s AMOLED displays Organic electronics makes use of organic materials which exhibit considerable electrical properties such as conductivity. These materials are made up of tiny molecules or carbon based polymers. The organic electronics offer benefit of low cost manufacturing when compared with conventional material electronics. The different types of materials used in manufacture of organic electronics include polymers, nanotubes, graphene; carbon based molecular structures, and hybrid materials.
Organic electronics is a fascinating technology since it enables high-throughput production of sustainable, affordable, flexible devices with varied optoelectronic or electrical functions. The applications for organic electronics are vast and diverse. Commonly known application of organic materials includes organic light emitting diode (OLED) being widely used in smart-phones. OLEDs are a more energy-efficient solution since they have brighter, more vibrant colors than conventional LCDs and use less electricity. Organic solar cells, television displays, and transistors are the other applications of organic electronics. Technological advancements concerning organic photovoltaic, transistor technology, organic display technology, and developments in organic polymer materials are expected to drive growth in the market.
Organic materials are naturally flexible and are easy to incorporate into different substrates. Hence, they are easy to shape and mold into various sizes and forms. This makes them ideal for application in wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers. Therefore, Organic electronics also have the potential to revolutionize the entire healthcare sector. Wearable electronic sensors could monitor crucial signs like heart rate and blood pressure. This could enhance patient outcomes while lowering healthcare expenses.
In terms of sustainability, organic electronics also have several advantages. Organic materials can be produced from renewable resources using basic techniques that produce little or no waste. Accordingly, organic materials are used in the production of high-end technological products. Energy-efficient electronics are yet another possible application for organic electronics. Organic materials are capable of transmitting electricity at lower voltages. Therefore, they are ideal for use in low-power electronics like sensors and microprocessors. This can end up in the production of electrical devices that use less power, hence using less energy and leaving a lower carbon imprint.
The shift from traditional advertisements and banners toward digital signage has significantly widened the potential for organic electronics producers to increase their global footprint. Thus, there is a growing trend toward digital signage since it is a more fruitful advertising tool and is expected to increase product sales given its interactive characteristics.
One of the most electrifying aspects of organic electronics is the way it allows us to produce devices that mimic the natural world. Electronic skin, for instance, has been developed by researchers and can feel humidity, temperature, and pressure much like actual skin. The prosthetics industry could undergo a revolution as a result of this discovery, enabling the development of artificial limbs that mimic real ones more closely.
At present the predominant applications include displays, lighting, photovoltaics, and other smart electronic systems. Constant research and development efforts are leading to development of biomedical implants and other biodegradable RFID tags. Other areas of exploration include possible application in memory devices, detectors, microlenses, batteries, photoconductors, optical fibers, and consumer packaging. Ongoing developments in consumer electronics segment especially smart-phones offer promising growth in terms of adoption of organic electronics. Some of the underlying drivers of the market include rising disposable income of end users and preference for high quality products, increasing investments of major companies into organic electronics segment, and competition among suppliers for product differentiation. Growth in consumer electronics segment especially smart phones and television is expected to provide double digit growth in the market. Some of the players identified in the marketplace are Asahi Kasei, BASF, Bayer Material Science, Evonik, DuPont, Henkel, Optomec, ITRI Taiwan, Kovio Inc., and others.