The EU has lost a significant share of the electronics manufacture sector to the Far East, resulting in a negative trade balance of >€100bn/year within this sector. This is (in part) due to the current manufacturing technologies that are based on subtractive processing that are expensive, wasteful and energy intensive, making manufacture in the EU economically and environmentally unfeasible. Printed electronics is set to revolutionise the electronics industry by enabling direct, additive processing that significantly reduces capital and operating costs as well as massively reducing process hazardous chemical waste and energy.
Currently the EU dominates the innovation and technological know-how in printed electronics. It is very important that this intellectual capital that Europe developed is translated to direct economic benefits by ensuring that manufacture is retained within the EU. However, there are barriers that are preventing widespread adoption of printed electronics including the availability of cost effective, high performance electronic inks, lack of awareness of end-users and lack of integration of individual printed components into large systems.
PLASMAS directly builds on world-leading nano-materials, printing and display device technologies developed and patented by the consortium members. Our consortium is unique in that it covers the entire supply chain and also in terms of its ambition. PLASMAS directly addresses the current commercialisation barriers by demonstrating the capability of technology (based on novel copper and silicon inks with favourable cost to performance ratios) through development of printed circuit boards and printed logic as well as displays with printed copper and silicon-based back panels and established “self-emissive” OLEDs and “reflective” low power Electro-Chromic elements. PLASMAS will make a significant step forward in commercialising these technologies and ensuring that the commercial benefits are maximised for the EU.