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Printed and Flexible Sensors 2014-2024: Technologies, Players, Forecasts Product Image

Printed and Flexible Sensors 2014-2024: Technologies, Players, Forecasts

  • Published: October 2013
  • Region: Global
  • 185 Pages
  • IDTechEx


  • DropSens, Spain
  • ISORG, France
  • Meggitt A/S, Denmark
  • Peratech, UK
  • PST Sensors, South Africa
  • Tekscan, USA
  • MORE

Established & Emerging Markets - The Complete Picture: Biosensors, Temperature Sensors, Gas Sensors, Capacitive Sensors, Piezoresistive Sensors, Piezoelectric Sensors, Photodetectors

"The market for printed sensors will increase by more than $1 billion by 2020"


Printed and flexible sensors are playing an increasingly important role in printed electronics. The biggest market is currently glucose sensors used by diabetics. However, other types of printed sensors are emerging. the market for printed sensors is expected to increase by more than $1 billion by 2020.

Sensors in general have a much simpler structure than displays or logic circuits. The technology barrier against commercialisation is therefore less steep compared to many other printed electronics applications. In fact, some types of sensors have always been printed. And there are many types of sensors, therefore many addressable markets.

This report covers the following categories of printed and flexible sensors:

- Biosensors
- Capacitive sensors (not including touchscreens)
- Piezoresistive & Piezoelectric (pressure, force, or strain) sensors
- Photoelectric READ MORE >


2.1. A versatile platform for chemical and bio sensing
2.2. Glucose test strips
2.2.1. Screen printing vs. sputtering
2.2.2. Technical challenges
2.2.3. Competing technologies
2.2.4. A multi-billion dollar market
2.3. Emerging applications
2.3.1. Drug screening
2.3.2. Breath sensing
2.3.3. Enhancements with nanomaterials

3.1. Same structure, different materials available
3.2. Key players
3.3. Printed capacitive switches
3.3.1. The Ford Fusion: what happened
3.3.2. Integration with Injection Moulding
3.4. Capacitive pressure sensing
3.5. Fluid level sensor

4.1. Ceramic pressure sensors
4.1.1. Ceramic vs. other common types of pressure sensors
4.1.2. Construction of a ceramic pressure sensor
4.2. Printed piezoresistive force sensors
4.2.1. Sensor construction
4.2.2. Applications and markets
4.2.3. Key players and technology trends
4.3. Printed piezoelectric sensors
4.3.1. Printed PZT (ceramic)
4.3.2. Printed PVDF-TrFE (polymer)
4.3.3. Solvene

5.1. A new generation of photoelectric materials
5.1.1. Reasons to replace silicon
5.1.2. Key players
5.2. Applications to new form factors
5.2.1. Making customised optical sensing systems
5.2.2. Recent news: New production line for printed sensors
5.2.3. Recent news: Scientists build photodetectors on textile
5.3. Applications to hybrid CMOS image sensors
5.3.1. Organic semiconductors
5.3.2. Quantum dots
5.4. Applications to X-ray sensors
5.4.1. The role of photodiodes in X-ray sensors
5.4.2. Progress towards robust and flexible X-ray sensors
5.4.3. Recent news: Collaboration between ISORG and Plastic Logic demonstrates a flexible image sensor
5.4.4. Recent news: Imec and Holst Centre in collaboration with Philips Research develop organic photodetector arrays suitable for X-ray imaging

6.1. Key players
6.2. Printed thermistors compatible with plastic substrates
6.2.1. PST Sensors: Silicon nanoparticles ink
6.2.2. Research at PARC (Xerox)
6.2.3. Organic thermistors
6.3. Is Smart Packaging the main market for printed thermistors?
6.3.1. Electronic tags as a replacement for time-temperature indicators
6.3.2. First proof-of-concept prototype of an integrated printed electronic tag
6.3.3. Exploring new applications
6.4. Novel concept: Wireless organic temperature sensor made with carbon nanotubes

7.1. Different types of gas sensors, not all can be printed
7.1.1. Pellistors
7.1.2. Infrared
7.1.3. Electrochemical
7.1.4. Chemiresistors
7.1.5. Electronic nose (e-nose)
7.2. Key players in printed gas sensors
7.3. All-printed gas sensors with solid electrolytes
7.3.1. KWJ Engineering: Thin carbon monoxide sensor made with a nano-catalyst
7.3.2. Solidsense SEC sensors
7.4. Latest innovations
7.4.1. Aerosol jet printing
7.4.2. Inkjet Printing
7.4.3. Startup company developing new electronic nose device
7.4.4. New research on acetone breath analysis

8.1. Scope and overview
8.2. Biosensors
8.3. Piezoresistive sensors
8.4. Capacitive sensors
8.5. Hybrid CMOS image sensors
8.6. Other emerging printed sensor technologies

9.1. An index categorising 68 companies by sensor type and geography
9.2. Detailed company profiles
9.2.1. Arizona State University (ASU), USA
9.2.2. DropSens, Spain
9.2.3. GSI Technologies, USA
9.2.4. Interlink Electronics, USA
9.2.5. ISORG, France
9.2.6. KWJ?Engineering, USA
9.2.7. Meggitt A/S, Denmark
9.2.8. NikkoIA SAS, France
9.2.9. Peratech, UK
9.2.10. Piezotech (Arkema group), France
9.2.11. Plastic Electronic GmbH, Austria
9.2.12. PolyIC, Germany
9.2.13. PST Sensors, South Africa
9.2.14. Synkera Technologies, USA
9.2.15. Tactonic Technologies, USA
9.2.16. Tekscan, USA
9.2.17. Temptime, USA
9.2.18. Thin Film Electronics, Norway
9.2.19. T-Ink, USA
9.2.20. Vista Medical, Canada




2.1. Some of the most pressing technical challenges for printed glucose test strips
3.1. Companies that are pursuing applications others than touchscreens
4.1. Comparison of piezoresistive force sensors versus capacitive touch sensors
4.2. The key players in printed piezoresistive force sensors
5.1. Which companies are commercialising new printable photoelectric materials?
7.1. Key players in printed gas sensors - companies and associated technologies
8.1. Ten year forecasts for printed sensors
8.2. Emerging printed sensor markets (excluding hybrid CMOS)
8.3. Forecast to 2018 for emerging technologies, excluding hybrid CMOS image sensors ($ million)
9.1. Listing of 68 companies involved in printed sensors


1.1. Market for printed sensors 2013-2024 (in $ million)
1.2. Relative market size, as percentage of the total printed and flexible sensors market in 2024
1.3. Market forecast excluding biosensors and hybrid CMOS sensors 2013-2024
1.4. Piezoresistive sensors 2013 and 2018
2.1. Example of a reader measuring the glucose level from a test strip.
2.2. Glucose meter for iPhone. The iBGStar was developed by AgaMatrix and commercialised exclusively by Sanofi in 2012.
2.3. No generic design: test strips vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
2.4. Advantages of printing vs. sputtering on a scale of 1 to 5 (higher is better).
2.5. Evolution of sample volume needed
2.6. Two scenarios for the biosensors market ($ million)
2.7. DRUGSENSOR for drug screening
2.8. Comparison between unmodified and CNT coated SPE.
2.9. The Omega 3 system, consisting of a reader and a microfluidic cartridge.
2.10. Nanostructured copper
3.1. The T-Ink overhead console
3.2. Side by side comparison between the standard equipment and the new one
3.3. Decorative and conductive inks are printed onto formable films
3.4. An example of integration by PolyIC
3.5. An array for pressure mapping
3.6. Storeskin is a concept by Plastic Electronic GmbH
3.7. Fluid level sensor
4.1. Comparison between thin film, thick film piezoresistive and silicon piezoresistive pressure sensors
4.2. Construction of a thick film pressure sensor.
4.3. Printed piezoresistive force sensor construction
4.4. Force sensor construction variant
4.5. Artist view and actual microscope image of the QTC material.
4.6. Common applications of printed piezoresistive sensors
4.7. Peratech's QTC material inside a 5-way input device (Navikeys) from Samsung Electromechanics (2010).
4.8. Possible locations of various force sensors in a car
4.9. Strain and bend sensor
4.10. Tactonic Technologies extra-large touchpad
4.11. Tactonic's customizable sensor design
4.12. Ulthera skin imaging device in use.
4.13. Evolution in screen printing of piezoelectric materials
4.14. Magnified photograph of the PZT sample
4.15. "Coffee stain effect" in ink jet printing
4.16. Synthesis of technologies to achieve accurate printing
4.17. Piezoelectric response of screen printed PVDF-TrFE on PEN substrate
4.18. Schematic showing the printed polymer sensor connected to an organic transistor.
4.19. PyzoFlex, a pressure-sensing input device.
4.20. PyzoFlex sensor array overlaid on a LCD screen.
4.21. Solvene can be printed or spin coated
4.22. Average transmittance (visible range between 400 nm and 700 nm), measured on 25-m thick film
5.1. Main drivers to replace silicon in two applications: CMOS image sensors and X-ray sensors
5.2. Organic photodiode characteristics (for near infra-red)
5.3. Organic photodiode characteristics (for visible light).
5.4. Plastic foil of organic photodetectors
5.5. OPD for object detection by smart systems: logistics, retail, Point-Of-Sales display
5.6. 8x8 arrays of organic photodetectors on a board
5.7. ISORG technology roadmap
5.8. Scanning electron micrograph image of the tin dioxide cloth
5.9. Organic CMOS image sensor and conventional image sensor
5.10. Image comparison
5.11. Image sensor pixel (top view)
5.12. CMOS VGA organic image sensor with 15µm-pixels:
5.13. Absorbing blue vs. red light in silicon vs. QuantumFilm
5.14. Principles of an indirect conversion digital radiography system
5.15. Main drivers to replace silicon in two applications: CMOS image sensors and X-ray sensors
5.16. Organic image sensors sensitive to X-rays, visible, and near infrared spectrum ranges.
5.17. Potential radiography applications for flexible display technology
5.18. 4.9 inch X-ray sensor at SID2012
5.19. ISORG and Plastic Logic demonstrate a flexible image sensor
5.20. Fully-organic, flexible imager developed by imec, Holst Centre and Philips Research.
6.1. Typical response from a RTD (Pt100) and a thermistor
6.2. Pseudo linear response curve from platinum RTD (Pt-100)
6.3. Silicon nanoparticles ink
6.4. Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistor
6.5. Printed thermistor from PST sensor demonstrated at Printed Electronics Europe 2013
6.6. Colour evolution of HEATmarker time-temperature indicators
6.7. Demonstrator with various components from ThinFilm, PARC, Acreo and PST Sensors
6.8. The concept of printed smart labels
6.9. Temperature sensor writing into memory
6.10. A printed thermistor
6.11. All-organic temperature sensor
6.12. All-organic temperature sensor evaluation
7.1. Metal-oxide gas sensor
7.2. An electronic nose is a recognition system, not a sensor technology
7.3. KWJ Engineering technology roadmap
7.4. Characteristics of the CO sensor
7.5. Sensor response to different levels of carbon monoxide
7.6. Photograph of a wafer containing 48 sensors.
7.7. Varying power consumption of the metal oxide gas sensors
8.1. Market forecast for printed sensors to 2024 (in $ million)
8.2. Market forecast for printed sensors 2013-2024, excluding biosensors and hybrid CMOS sensors
8.3. Relative market size in 2013 excluding glucose sensors
8.4. Relative market size in 2018 excluding glucose sensors
8.5. Relative market size, as percentage of the total printed and flexible sensors market in 2024
8.6. Market for printed biosensors ($ million)
8.7. Market for piezoresistive force sensors ($ million)
8.8. Piezoresistive sensors sectors in 2013 and 2018
8.9. Market for capacitive sensors ($ million)
8.10. Market for hybrid CMOS image sensors ($ million)
8.11. Emerging technologies excluding hybrid CMOS image sensors ($ million)

- Arizona State University (ASU), USA
- DropSens, Spain
- GSI Technologies, USA
- Interlink Electronics, USA
- ISORG, France
- KWJ?Engineering, USA
- Meggitt A/S, Denmark
- NikkoIA SAS, France
- Peratech, UK
- Piezotech (Arkema group), France
- Plastic Electronic GmbH, Austria
- PolyIC, Germany
- PST Sensors, South Africa
- Synkera Technologies, USA
- Tactonic Technologies, USA
- Tekscan, USA
- Temptime, USA
- Thin Film Electronics, Norway
- T-Ink, USA
- Vista Medical, Canada

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