Conductive ink is a popular ink used in a variety of applications including printing modern transit tickets and RFID tags on computer keyboards. It is also widely used in energy storage components. However, some factors are hindering the growth of the market. For example, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in supply chain disruptions, temporary shutdowns, and reduced capacity. This, combined with trade restrictions and raw material shortages, could further depress the prospects of the market.
High cost of silver conductive ink
Silver conductive ink is used in many applications including flexible substrate printing, touchscreens and 3D printing. The inks are also ideal for electronic components, such as battery electrodes and printed circuit boards. These devices require multiple interconnects to function properly. The high cost of silver-based inks is a barrier to their widespread use, however.
As a result of the high cost of silver, some suppliers have suspended production due to supply chain bottlenecks and concerns about the safety of their employees. Increasing demands for miniaturization have also driven the demand for lightweight electronics. The use of conductive inks can reduce the weight of electronic components and improve their efficiency.
In recent years, conductive inks have become mainstream, especially in smart-textile applications. Sound-based sensors developed on textiles could generate sounds by pressing a t-shirt. But after that, suppliers focused on more conventional applications of the inks. These applications include touch screens, antennas, and electronics packaging. The use of conductive ink is expected to increase in the coming years, thanks to rising demand for flexible electronics.
Lack of chemical compatibility with most polymers
Chemical compatibility with most polymers depends on the polymer’s molecular weight distribution, concentration, and thermal history. For example, the cellulose esters in polyethyleneterephthalate will be solvent compatible or not depending on their substitution or nitration. However, the crystalline morphology will also influence the compatibility. Some polymers can be quenched or annealed to achieve near-zero crystallinity.
Chemical compatibility is essential because the components of a product may degrade quickly if they are not compatible. Additionally, when more than one chemical is used or when impurities are present in the polymer, chemical compatibility is compromised. Chemical compatibility with a material is best determined through testing before installing a product.
Short shelf life of conductive polymer inks
A number of advantages can be expected from using conductive polymer inks. The inks exhibit excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates and excellent mechanical and chemical stability once cured. They can be applied by brush, semi-automatically, and pneumatically, and can be printed on various types of textiles and flexible polymer films. The inks can be cured at any temperature between 80 and 200 degrees Celsius. In addition, they exhibit no change in moisture content after seven days at 85% relative humidity.
Conductive polymers have been used to make bioelectronic devices and optoelectronic devices. However, the development of n-doped conducting polymers is needed to make these technologies widespread. Currently, PEDOT:PSS is the only n-type conductive ink available. Another example of an n-type conductive ink is poly(benzimidazobenzophenanthroline)-poly(ethyleneimine). BBL-PEI thin films exhibit high n-type electrical conductivity, good thermal stability, and excellent solvent stability.
Conductive polymer inks have a relatively short shelf life and should not be stored for long periods of time. The BBL-PEI inks have a low boiling point, which enables thermal annealing, a process necessary to achieve high conductivity values. Typically, n-doped conducting polymers are processed with aromatic or halogenated solvents. As a result, the BBL-PEI ink is expected to be easier to process in the fab than other solvents.
Low cost of nano silver conductive ink
Nano silver conductive ink is a new type of ink with graphene embedded in it. It combines the conduction properties of graphene with the low melting properties of the silver nano metal. It also allows for printing on a variety of base materials. For example, it is effective at reducing the sintering temperature of conductive resin.
The market for Nano Silver Conductive Ink is segmented based on its type, application, and region. The report also details the competitive situation of the key players in this market. Some of the leading companies in this market include Sun Chemical Corporation, NovaCentrix, Creative Materials, Conductive Compounds, and Vorbeck Materials Corp.
Low cost conductive inks are an attractive option for printed electronics. They can help manufacturers increase their volume and introduce new applications. In addition, they can support local production and jobs in Europe. Fortunately, the CLIP consortium has been actively disseminating the technology since its early years. Nanogap has been speaking at Printed Electronics 2011 and 2012.