Printing technologies have been demonstrated to be highly efficient and compatible with polymeric materials (both inks and substrates) enabling a new generation of flexible electronics applications. Conductive flexible polymers are a new class of materials that are prepared for a wide range of applications, such as photovoltaic solar cells, transistors molecular devices, and sensors and actuators. There are many possible printing techniques. This chapter provides an opportunity to review the most common printing techniques used at the industrial level, the most commonly used substrates and electronic materials, giving an overall vision for a better understanding and evaluation of their different features. Several technological solutions (contact/noncontact) and its critical challenges are also presented. Inkjet Printing Technology (IPT) has been receiving a great attention and therefore higher focus is given to this technology. An overview of IPT is presented to evidence its importance and potential as a key-technology on the research field for printed electronics development, as well as on large scale industrial manufacturing. A background and a review on prior work are presented along with used materials, developed applications and potential of IPT technology. The main features of the different printing technologies, advantages and main challenges are also compared.
Part of the book: Flexible Electronics