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Established and emerging markets - the complete picture on all applications: biosensors, temperature, humidity, gas, capacitive, piezoresistive, piezoelectric, photodetectors

Sensors that are printed on flexible substrates represent a growing market. Although the biggest segment - blood glucose test strips - is currently shrinking, the next generation of printed sensors will enable other applications, from human-machine interfaces to environmental sensing. IDTechEx predicts the market for fully printed sensors will reach $7.6 billion by 2027.

These sensors benefit from the latest materials and technologies in the printed electronics industry. While some may consist of a very simple structure with only a few electrodes, others are much more complex and require the deposition of multiple layers. What they have in common is the capability to be manufactured on plastic substrates, which offer advantages in terms of mechanical flexibility, thinness and weight reduction.


This report covers the following categories of printed sensors:
- Biosensors
- Capacitive sensors
- Piezoresistive sensors
- Piezoelectric sensors
- Optical sensors
- Temperature sensors
- Humidity sensors
- Gas sensors

It should be noted that printing is not a new manufacturing technique in the sensor industry and in some cases, has been used as a standard process for many years. This report gives examples of the sensors that are based on "thick film", whereby some layers of sensing materials are deposited by screen printing. These devices are not fully printed but contain a printed layer of either a polymeric or ceramic material.


Growth in emerging applications

Printed disposable glucose sensors currently generate the majority of revenues. These sensors are used by diabetics as a self-diagnosis tool. This technology is essential for those patients but the market is now commoditized and there is pressure on price. This explains why the industry is developing new biosensors, where the innovation lies in recognizing various biomarkers.

Other printed and flexible sensors such as gas sensors, temperature sensors or photodetectors are now moving into mass production. This transition from R&D to commercialization will drive growth in emerging applications.

Photodetectors can be printed as single detectors or deposited on active matrix devices, either thin-film transistor (TFT) backplanes or CMOS chips. The various configurations lead to different addressable markets, such as image sensors or digital X-ray sensors.

IDTechEx has closely followed the progress of printed and flexible sensors for several years. Each emerging application is described in detail, based on direct conversations with sensor manufacturers and illustrated with photographs of real devices.

The complete picture

Save months of research by quickly learning who the key players are in printed and flexible sensors and the latest information. Get the complete picture on the various technologies, their applications and the market sizes.


The report includes 10-year revenue forecasts for printed and flexible sensors, with the following market segments:
- Biosensors
- Capacitive
- Piezoresistive (force)
- Piezoelectric
- Photodetectors
- Photodetectors on CMOS chip
- Photodetectors on TFT backplane
- Temperature
- Humidity
- Gas

The market data in the report are at the sensor module level, thereby avoiding the common issue of including other components and services (system integration) in the forecasts.

Also included in the report is a listing of over 80 companies making thick film sensors or fully printed sensors. Sorted by sensor category, this listing helps you identify potential partners and suppliers.

Table Of Contents

Printed and Flexible Sensors 2017-2027: Technologies, Players, Forecasts
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1. Sensors in the printed electronics industry
1.2. How printing enables flexibility
1.3. Different stages of commercialization
1.4. Market size and growth
2. MARKET FORECASTS
2.1. Scope and definitions
2.1.1. What is a sensor?
2.1.2. What do we define as fully printed sensor?
2.2. Market size overview
2.2.1. Revenue forecast for all market segments
2.2.2. CAGR per sensor type
2.2.3. Revenue forecast for fully printed sensors only
2.2.4. Other charts
2.3. Biosensors
2.4. Capacitive sensors
2.5. Piezoresistive sensors
2.6. Piezoelectric sensors
2.7. Photodetectors
2.7.1. Printed organic photodetectors
2.7.2. Photodetectors on TFT backplanes
2.7.3. Hybrid CMOS image sensors
2.8. Temperature sensors
2.9. Humidity sensors
2.10. Gas sensors
3. BIOSENSORS (ELECTROCHEMICAL)
3.1. Screen-printed electrodes
3.2. Glucose test strips
3.2.1. Screen printing vs. sputtering
3.2.2. Technical challenges
3.2.3. Competing technologies
3.2.4. A multi-billion dollar market, but low growth
3.3. Emerging applications of printed biosensors
3.3.1. Wearable patches by Biolinq
3.3.2. Saliva
3.3.3. Cholesterol sensor
3.3.4. BreathDX
3.3.5. Tuberculosis testing
3.3.6. Drug screening
3.3.7. Breath sensing
3.3.8. Enhancements with nanomaterials
4. CAPACITIVE SENSORS
4.1. Same structure, different materials available
4.2. Key players
4.3. Touch sensors for touchscreens
4.4. Formable capacitive switches
4.4.1. A case study: the Ford Fusion
4.4.2. Integration with Injection Moulding
4.4.3. 3D shaped sensors based on PEDOT
4.5. Capacitive pressure sensing
4.6. Fluid level sensor
4.7. Fingerprint sensors: will they be printed?
5. PIEZORESISTIVE SENSORS
5.1. Pressure sensors with thick-film technology
5.1.1. Ceramic vs. other common types of pressure sensors
5.1.2. Construction of a ceramic pressure sensor
5.2. Fully printed force sensors
5.2.1. Sensor construction
5.3. Key players
5.4. Applications and markets
5.4.2. Consumer electronics
5.4.3. Automotive
5.4.4. Medical
5.4.5. Musical instruments
5.4.6. Strain and bend sensors
5.5. New technologies in piezoresistive sensors
5.5.1. Quantum tunnelling composite (QTC)
5.5.2. Interpolation for large area sensing
5.5.3. Piezoresistive textile
5.5.4. Artificial skin made with gold nanoparticles
6. PIEZOELECTRIC SENSORS
6.1. Key players
6.2. Printed PZT (inorganic)
6.2.2. Temperature requirements
6.2.3. Inkjet printing technology from Ricoh
6.3. Piezoelectric polymers
6.3.2. Material suppliers
6.3.3. Sensor arrays for novel user interfaces
6.3.4. Wearable sensor
6.3.5. Heat sensing with piezoelectric polymers
6.4. Printed amino acids
7. PHOTODETECTORS
7.1. Reasons to replace silicon
7.2. Key players
7.3. Device structure
7.3.2. Screen-printing
7.3.3. Slot die coating
7.4. Organic photodetectors (OPD)
7.4.1. Enabling new form factors for optical sensors
7.4.2. ISORG building a production line for organic photodetectors
7.4.3. OLED and OPD device for pulse oximetry (UC Berkeley)
7.4.4. Academic research: photodetectors on textile
7.5. Hybrid CMOS image sensors
7.5.1. Organic semiconductors on CMOS chip
7.5.2. Quantum dots on CMOS chip
7.6. Photodetectors on TFT backplane
7.6.1. The role of photodiodes in X-ray sensors
7.6.2. NikkoIA develops organic imaging technology for X-rays sensors
7.6.3. Demonstration from the Flexible Display Center (Arizona State University)
7.6.4. Collaboration between ISORG and FlexEnable demonstrates flexible image sensors
7.6.5. Collaboration between Imec, Holst Centre, and Philips Research
8. TEMPERATURE SENSORS
8.1. Key players
8.2. Inks compatible with plastic substrates
8.2.1. PST Sensors: Silicon nanoparticles ink
8.2.2. Research at PARC (Xerox)
8.2.3. Organic heat sensor
8.3. Applications
8.3.1. Electronic tags as a replacement for time-temperature indicators
8.3.2. First proof-of-concept prototype of an integrated printed electronic tag
8.3.3. Wearable temperature monitors
8.3.4. Exploring new applications
8.4. Wireless temperature sensor made with carbon nanotubes
9. HUMIDITY SENSORS
9.1. Principles of thick film humidity sensors
9.1.1. Porous ceramics humidity sensors
9.1.2. Polymeric humidity sensors
9.2. Key players
9.3. Printed wireless humidity sensors
9.3.1. Western Michigan University
9.3.2. Application to building monitoring
9.3.3. Invisense wins grant to develop new product
9.4. Integration of humidity and temperature sensors
9.4.1. PST Sensors
9.4.2. Brewer Science: ultrafast response with carbon nanotubes
10. GAS SENSORS
10.1. Different types of gas sensors, not all can be printed
10.1.1. Pellistors
10.1.2. Infrared
10.1.3. Electrochemical
10.1.4. Chemiresistors
10.1.5. Electronic nose (e-nose)
10.2. Key players in printed gas sensors
10.3. All-printed gas sensors with solid electrolytes
10.3.1. SPEC sensors
10.3.2. Honeywell
10.4. Other innovations
10.4.1. Aerosol jet printing
10.4.2. Inkjet Printing
10.4.3. New electronic nose device with inkjet-printed semiconductor
10.4.4. Research on acetone breath analysis
11. COMPANIES
11.1. An index categorising over 80 companies by sensor type and geography

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