Growth in emerging printed electronic applications drives growth


BOSTON, 24 Nov. 2022 /PRNewswire/ — IDTechEx’s newly released report “Conductive Ink Markets 2023-2033” comprehensively examines this important materials technology that underpins both the emerging fields of photovoltaics and printed electronics. Based on interviews with more than 30 companies, the report assesses the market for each of the 8 different types of conductive ink in 15 different applications. Conductive inks include flake-based silver, nanoparticle-based silver, copper, stretchable/thermoformable, and particle-free, while applications include photovoltaic cells, a variety of printed sensors, flexible hybrid electronics (FHE), in-mold electronics (IME). including. , and RFID / smart packaging. This detailed segmentation provides 39 different forecast lines, each providing a clear picture of the state of the ink market and future opportunities. The market as a whole is currently worth $2.7 billion and is expected to grow to $4.5 billion by 2033, with all of this growth coming from emerging applications in printed/flexible/wearable electronics rather than silicon photovoltaics.

Conductive inks and applications covered in the report. Source: IDTechX

Primary insights from interviews with individual players, ranging from established players to innovative start-ups, are channeled through more than 30 detailed company profiles with SWOT analysis and discussion of both technology and business models. In addition, the report includes an analysis of the parameter space for conductive inks, including curing time, conductivity and viscosity, based on a database of over 100 conductive inks. Together with the segmentation of suppliers by ink type, this should help to get a complete picture of the global conductive ink market.

technological advancement

Flake-based conductive ink is an older technology widely used to metallize the top surface of photovoltaic panels for charge extraction. However, this market is unlikely to keep up with the growth of PV panels, with the development of new technologies to reduce the amount of silver ink required. Instead, most of the growth will come from emerging applications in the printed flexible electronics space.

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This expansion of application space creates opportunities for emerging conductive ink formulations aimed at meeting specific application requirements:

  • Particle-free conductive inks are metallized in situ to form a smooth, thin conductive layer that is ideally suited for high-frequency EMI shielding and antennas. Due to the very low viscosity, these inks are also ideally suited for high-resolution deposition techniques, such as aerosol printing.
  • Nanoparticle-based conductive inks provide high conductivity, enabling more compact circuit designs.
  • Liquid metal gel is an ideal stretchable ink because resistance does not increase over time – the conductive liquid flows to accommodate dimensional changes. It is mainly focused on portable strain sensors.
  • Copper-based ink with additives that prevent oxidation during sintering. These are gaining significant popularity, with major electronics manufacturers conducting qualification projects. Copper ink is particularly suitable where cost is the main driver, such as RFID/smart packaging antennas.

Application possibilities

As a platform technology for printed electronics, conductive inks can be used in a wide variety of applications ranging from healthcare to energy. This report divides the application space for conductive ink into 15 segments, each of which outlines:

  • Application introduction.
  • Assessment of the technical and commercial status.
  • conductive ink requirements for that specific application.
  • Examples of conductive inks aimed at that application.
  • Market forecast, including application of different inks where appropriate.

Some of the most promising conductive ink applications include electronic skin patches, voltage sensors, and in-mold electronics (IME), due to both rapid development and the ability to accommodate variation for specialized ink requirements.


The growth in printed/flexible/hybrid electronics, especially where it enables new applications and even business models, such as electronic skin patches for remote health monitoring and smart packaging, is expected to drive the growth of the conductive ink market over the coming decade. Will Accelerate In addition, many emerging applications, such as in-mold electronics, e-textiles, and high-frequency antennas, have specific ink requirements that provide an opportunity for differentiation.

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Key questions answered in this report

  • What type of conductive ink is produced by each supplier?
  • How will rising silver prices affect the conductive ink market?
  • What are the requirements for each conductive ink application and how much ink is used in each application?
  • What is the technical and market readiness of each conductive ink application?
  • What are the main growth opportunities where there is room for differentiation?
  • Who are the main players producing each type of ink?

IDTechEx has over 20 years of expertise in printed and flexible electronics, including conductive inks. IDTechEx analysts closely follow the latest developments in the technology and related markets by interviewing numerous suppliers and users of conductive ink and attending numerous printed electronics conferences such as LOPEC and FLEX. This report provides a complete picture of the segmented landscape of conductive inks to aid in product development and positioning.

For more information on the new IDTechEx report “Conductive Ink Market 2023-2033”, including downloadable sample pages, visit

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