Fields of expertiseThe Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC
Because printed electronic circuits can be manufactured in high-volume processes and used to produce large-area devices, they have great potential for the creation of new applications. Compared with existing technologies, they offer a decisive competitive advantage through low manufacturing costs and the large-area integration of electronic and/or sensor functions on flexible substrates (macro-electronics), and consequently the ability to realize smart, freeform surfaces. Fraunhofer ISC develops intermediate-layer and gate dielectrics and ferroelectric polymers that can be applied by means of print technologies in order to implement electronic systems and sensors. Specific challenges include finding the right formulation for the print medium and ensuring compatibility of the materials employed. Printable materials are also used in display manufacturing, in which case they must be transparent to light. Wet-chemical sols based on amorphous semiconductors are a possible answer to this requirement.