Printed and organic electronics » Innovative everyday heroes

Flexible, organic and printed electronics: Limitless Innovation

Flexible, organic and printed electronics are conductive polymers and inks that can be printed onto foil, paper, glass, or fabrics, across large areas and at low cost. Compared to conventional electronics, these electronic components offer a number of benefits: They are extremely thin, flexible and lightweight . They can be used for a wide range of applications, e.g., in consumer electronics, packaging, the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, energy, or white goods.

The result: innovative products such as touch sensors, flexible displays, solar cells, wearables, luminescent films and smart labels.

A number of terms are used to describe flexible, organic and printed electronics, including:

  • Flexible Electronics
  • Organic Electronics
  • Conductive synthetics/polymer electronics
  • 3D structural electronics
  • Large-area electronics
  • Thin-film electronics
  • Plastic electronics
  • Abbreviations such as OLAE or FOLAE (flexible organic and large-area electronics)

All of these terms essentially refer to the same thing: Electronics applied in a way that goes beyond the traditional approach.

Flexible, organic and printed electronics are present in our everyday life which is reflected by the integration of a number of printed electronics applications as a standard in the automotive industry and in healthcare. Examples are printed antennas, occupancy sensors integrated into seats and automatic anti-glare rear view mirrors as well as test strips and smart patches.

Flexible, organic and printed electronics are used in sensors, solar cells, keyboards, and displays, car interior thereby turning simple products into smart objects, luminous wallpapers in advertisement or smart food packaging that allows continuous tracking of the cold chain, open up new possibilities for the industries. Organic photovoltaic cells (OPV) that can cover entire building facades offer a fresh, new impetus for the energy sector.

What is printed electronics? The animated video of LOPEC explains it to you in one minute!