All info about printed electronics from Witte Technology
What are printed electronics?
Printed electronics refers to electrical/electronic components manufactured from “printable” materials. Using well-known printing processes such as screen printing, flexography, or gravure printing, individual layers are created, each possessing various electronic properties. These components include conductive tracks, batteries, sensors, OLEDs, and more. Printed electronics enables compactness and cost-efficiency, making it applicable in various industries, such as OLED televisions, temperature sensors for packaging, flexible displays, printed sensors for the automotive industry, and much more.
Extremely thin, flexible, and in some cases transparent electronic components for a wide range of applications – for example in the fields of consumer electronics, packaging technology, automotive, pharmaceuticals, energy, or household appliances.
The result is innovative products such as touch sensors, flexible displays, or solar cells, luminescent films, or smart labels, fully printed components for the implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The extent to which printed electronics are already present in our daily lives is demonstrated by standard applications in industries such as automotive manufacturing. These include printed antennas, integrated pressure sensors for seat occupancy detection, rearview mirrors with dimming functionality, and medical test strips in the pharmaceutical industry.
Printed electronics are used for various purposes, including:
These applications transform simple products into intelligent objects. While still a vision, technically feasible applications include luminous wallpapers or smart food packaging for seamless cold chain monitoring.
Organic photovoltaic cells offer new opportunities in the energy sector, enabling entire buildings to be equipped with them.
The technique of printed electronics
Printed electronics refers to electrically conductive or semiconductive functional fluids that are printed on a large scale and cost-effectively onto film, paper, glass, or textiles and, due to their specific properties, enable functional layers or even complex circuit layouts.
Through the use of printing technology, the creation of 2-dimensional, flexible, technical components becomes feasible, offering entirely new possibilities for future innovations.
Illustration of possible combinations of printed and conventional electronics, such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Future of Printed Electronics at Witte Technology
The research and development of printed electronics is an emerging field that focuses on creating innovative electronic devices. In this sector, professionals like Sarah Shishegaran are dedicated to developing and advancing new technologies and applications.
Contact person Danny Nitzsche
Would you like to equip your products with printed electronics?
A fascinating technology with a promising future. Printed electronics as functional printing is an excellent example of groundbreaking printing techniques. In essence, it involves the production of electrical/electronic components using “printable” functional fluids (“materials”) – essentially printed sensors. The individual layers required for these components are produced using well-known printing methods, such as screen printing, flexography, gravure printing, and inkjet printing, and can be insulating, electrically conductive, or semiconductive. We have been involved in this forward-looking field since 2017, with a focus on specializing in the combination of printed components and elements of conventional electronics – essentially hybrid electronics or PolyTronic. Components belonging to the category of “printed electronics” include specialized conductive tracks and electrode structures, batteries, sensors, heating elements, NFC antennas, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), organic photovoltaics (OPV), and transistors, among others. For example, when comparing a printed transistor to one in conventional electronics, the smallest transistor that can be produced through printing methods is a thousand times larger (in the µm range) than in conventional electronics (in the nm range).
The Development of Printed Sensors
There are now numerous areas of application where printed and organic electronics are used. Their advantages, such as compactness, cost-efficiency, and energy efficiency, are even paving the way for them to enter the mass markets, opening up unexpected technical and design possibilities for many industries.
Development of printed sensors
Form and design for items such as printed batteries or antennas are nearly unlimited. In addition to current OLED TVs, which are equipped with vacuum-deposited OLED components, this applies, for example, to:
Temperature sensors for food packaging
Electronic product labels for counterfeit protection
Extremely thin and flexible displays
Printed sensors and antennas for the automotive industry
And much more
The clean room for quality assurance for printed electronics.
Dr. Philip Renner in the clean room
Applications and Progress
Clean rooms (also known as controlled environments) are crucial in electronics development and production. The technology is constantly evolving to meet the increased demands and ensure quality in the industry.
The Clean Room as a Quality Assurance
In the development of modern printed electronics, the clean room is indispensable. Here, environmental conditions are strictly controlled to minimize contamination and ensure the precision of the electronics.
A clean room ensures air purity, temperature, and humidity to produce highly precise electronic components. This guarantees the quality and reliability of printed electronics products.
Are you interested in the possibilities of printed electronics?
We provide comprehensive advice for the implementation of your products.
Printed electronics at Witte Technology GmbH – Brand New: Digital Tamper Loop
Although the core focus of Witte Technology GmbH originally lay in label and security printing (and still does), we made the early decision to incorporate printed electronics into our range of services. Through this, we quickly recognized that there are interesting synergies between various segments, especially concerning digital and printed security features. Currently, we offer printed batteries, NFC antennas, sensor elements, smart packaging (SmartPack), and partially SmartLabels while simultaneously developing complex components. For this, we primarily rely on R2R screen and flexo printing, as well as S2S screen printing. Brand new are digital seals that can even detect invisible tampering and immediately send alerts to your smartphone. This represents the tamper protection of the new generation in the realm of printed sensors. Feel free to learn more directly about our Digital Tamper Loop! Furthermore, we have established our own cleanroom to elevate working and development conditions to a new level and to present even more precise solutions to you.
If you would like to learn more about the topic, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts are at your disposal to answer your questions. This applies, of course, even if you seek non-binding consultation in another one of our numerous specialized fields: from thermal transfer printers to self-adhesive label solutions and printed electronics, we are here for you!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Printed Electronics – FAQ
What are printed electronics?
Printed electronics refers to electronic components produced using conventional printing methods and special “printable” materials. This technology enables flexible, cost-effective, and energy-efficient products, such as specialized conductive tracks, batteries, sensors, and OLEDs.
What printed electronics products does Witte Technology GmbH offer?
Witte Technology GmbH offers a range of printed electronics products, including printed batteries, NFC antennas, sensor elements, smart packaging, and SmartLabels. In addition, we are developing complex components and have introduced novel digital seals. We are happy to provide consultation for customizing your products.
What are the advantages and applications of printed electronics?
Printed electronics offers advantages such as compactness, cost-efficiency, and energy efficiency. Applications can be found in various fields, including OLED televisions, temperature sensors for food packaging, electronic product labels, extremely thin and flexible displays, illuminated foils, and printed sensors for the automotive industry.
Which components belong to the category of “printed electronics”?
Printed electronics components include specialized conductive tracks and electrode structures, batteries, sensors, heating elements, NFC antennas, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), organic photovoltaics (OPV), and transistors.
Where can I find more information about printed electronics?
At Witte Technology GmbH, experts are ready to answer your inquiries and provide guidance in the field of printed electronics. We offer further information through the contact form or our phone number at any time.