Advantages of Printed Electronics | Disadvantages of Printed Electronics

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Printed Electronics or printable electronics. It mentions benefits or advantages of Printed Electronics and drawbacks or disadvantages of Printed Electronics.

What is Printed Electronics?

The set of printing processes used to create electronic devices on flexible substrates is known as printed electronics. It is also called as organic electronics or plastic electronics. It uses any one of the printing techniques (flexographic, Gravure, Rotary screen, Inkjet) and inks such as silver, carbon, copper or complex functional inks for sensing and light emitting. As mentioned, circuits are generally printed on to thin and flexible substrates having various kind of materials such as PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) , PEN (Polyethylene naphthalate), PI (Polyimide), PU (Polyurethane), papers etc.

Printed electronics uses additive processing (i.e. printing) for layer definitions under ambient temperature and pressure conditions compare to subtractive processing used in conventional processing under controlled/vacuum environment. The printed electronics method offers many benefits over conventional electronics method such as low fabrication cost, flexible substrate, low cost per unit area, large area per feature size, high throughput etc.

Printed Electronics Components

Printed electronics technique helps to manufacture various electronic components which include passive components (resistors, inductors, capacitors), semiconductors (diodes, transistors), primary battery, thin film solar cell, sensors (gas sensor, electrochemical sensor, temperature, pressure, strain sensors etc.), lighting components (OLED, LEEC-Light emitting electrochemical cell), displays (E-ink display, Electrochromic), memory/logic (printed logic-flexIC, printed analog functions), circuit elements (printed conductive tracks, printed dielectric and crossover), smart labels and so on. The figure depicts some of the electronic components manufactured using printed electronics method.

Benefits or advantages of Printed Electronics

Following are the benefits or advantages of Printed Electronics:
➨Low Cost
➨Flexible Form Factor due to flexible substrate than rigid substrate used in conventional electronics technique.
➨Light in weight
➨Thin in size
➨Robust and stretchable in nature
➨Provides better user friendly features and look
➨Easy to produce (using Inkjet technologies)
➨Easy to integrate due its thin size
➨It requires low temperature for processing. Hence it allows use of flexible and plastic substrates.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Printed Electronics

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Printed Electronics:
➨Printable electronics can implement circuits having following characteristics.
• Simple functionality
• Low power
• Low current
• Simple connectivity
• Low component count
➨It offers low performance than conventional electronics.
➨Product life cycle is short compare to long life cycle of products manufactured using conventional electronics technique.

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