In late 2007 silicon ink and inkjet printers were used to print a transistor with respectable performance. And now, a year later, there have been good advancements in demonstrating a product using this technology -- RFID tags using printed ICs (PICs). The past year has boosted nFET thin-film transistor (TFT) performance from electron mobilities of 80 cm2/Vs to nearly 100 cm2/Vs and full CMOS functionality has been achieved.
This is extremely cool. It was not too long ago that printed electronics was used for conductors as a part of an assembly. Now, printed electronics is moving into an area where effective active electronics can be built using low-cost printing technology. The flexibility and scalability enabled with printing technologies in the electronics market is mind-boggling, making the production of billions of devices seem reasonable.
One key market for this technology is for supply chain item inventory marking using RFID tags. Once a cost effective solution for individual RFID tags is available, this technology will quickly move to the mass market making inventory control and consumer transactions nearly painless. These low-cost RFID tags are expected to become increasingly common as a means of identifying every type of consumer product. Some device cost ~20 cents today, with a gaols to achieve a sub 1 cent cost.
RFID Tags Using Printed Electronics
First Printed Silicon RFID Platform for Item-Level Intelligence