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Electronic polymer market to grow by 14.5% until 2008

Posted: 07 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Frost & Sullivan? RFID? conductive polymer? ICP? OLED?

Global demand for conductive electronic polymer products will expand by 14.5 percent per year until 2008, according to Frost & Sullivan's Advances in Plastics for Electronic Devices research.

Plastic electronics based on inherently conductive polymers (ICPs) and flexible substrates can change the electronics industry, the research firm said. At present, the industry heavily relies on plastic as low-cost solution for thermal management in devices with its insulation and conductive properties.

Future products include roll-up displays for computers and cellphones, flexible solar panels for power portable equipment, as well as ultralow-cost RFID tags. Recently-developed conductive transparent polymers also function as OLED in displays. New materials such as carbon nanotubes and organic molecules, with conducting and semiconducting properties, are set to bring in sophisticated plastic electronic displays for cellphones and portable devices, the Frost & Sullivan report further said.

Developments
The ongoing trend toward miniaturization and the consequent demand for high-performance plastics that provide tough, stable parts with thin walls will intensify the search for specialty polymers.

Compact and complex PCBs with rising operating temperatures are pushing researchers to focus on the thermal management capabilities of plastics used in electronic devices. In addition to new resins, additives and fillers to meet thin-wall and high-temperature requirements for molded parts, there is a need for more-efficient heat sinks that that are used to cool semiconductors, reported Frost & Sullivan.

Moreover, thermally conductive thermoplastics are also eyed as alternatives for aluminium and copper as development materials for heat sinks for electronics.

Meanwhile, the growing use of lead-free soldering to comply with the RoHS directive is said to add to the demand for plastics with exceptional thermal management properties. Hence, new plastic materials must accommodate higher soldering temperatures of about 250C to 260C, especially for electronic parts that undergo surface-mount reflow soldering.

Compounds made of high-temperature thermoplastics such as liquid crystal polymer and polyethersulfone used in molded interconnect devices and low-k dielectric polymers in semiconductor fabrication are also expected to register strong growth.




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