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REPORT # Nano-434 PUBLISHED December 14, 2011
Flexible Substrates Markets—2012
  • Advanced Materials
  • Renewable Energy
  • Emerging Electronics

    Request the transcript from our Q&A session that took place on February 22nd related to this report.

    Samsung’s announcement that it will go into production with flexible OLED displays in 2012 has rekindled an interest in flexible electronics and photovoltaics.  The emergence of this kind of technology would have many implications in the marketplace, but not the least would be the implications for firms that make the flexible glass, plastic, metals, paper and textiles that serve as the substrates for flexible electronics and solar panels. 

    This report analyzes and quantifies the market for these flexible substrates.  Beginning with an analysis of what parts of the flexible electronics/PV story are likely to become reality in the next decade and which are fanciful, this report shows where the opportunities are emerging for substrate firms to generate new business revenues.  It goes on to examine the strategies of the leading firms already active in this space and provides an eight-year forecast of the flexible substrate market broken out by applications and type of material used.

    Executive Summary 
    E.1 Evolution of Flexibility in the Electronics and Solar Industries 
    E.1.1 Opportunity: Smart Packaging and RFIDs 
    E.1.2 Opportunity: Flexible Displays 
    E.1.3 Opportunity:  Solar Applications 
    E.1.4 Opportunity:  Textile Applications 
    E.2 Opportunities for Materials Firms 
    E.3 Implications of the Flexible Substrate Market Analysis for Electronics and Solar Panel Firms 
    E.4 Firms to Watch 
    E.4.1 Corning 
    E.4.2 Dow Chemical 
    E.4.3 DuPont Teijin Films 
    E.4.4 Dyesol and Tata/Corus 
    E.4.5 Samsung 
    E.5 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts 
    Chapter One: Introduction 
    1.1 Background to this Report 
    1.1.1 The Big Problem With Selling Substrates into the Flexible Display Market:  Flexible Displays Don't Exist! 
    1.1.2 BIPV:  The Future of Solar and Flexible Substrates? 
    1.1.3 R2R:  First for Flexible 
    1.1.4 Materials for Flexible Substrates:  Plastics, Metals and Beyond 
    1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report 
    1.3 Methodology of this Report 
    1.4 Plan of this Report 
    Chapter Two: Flexible Substrate Materials and Technologies 
    2.1 Flexible Substrate Requirements 
    2.1.1 Thermal Degradation, Thermal Expansion Mismatch, and What they Mean for Market Opportunities 
    2.1.2 Matching the Substrate to the Process and Operating Environment 
    2.1.3 Substrate Quality, Cost, and Application-Specific Requirements 
    2.2 Flexibility in Manufacturing; Flexibility in Use 
    2.3 Flexible Substrate Materials 
    2.3.1 The Joy and Frustration of Polymer Substrates 
    2.3.2 Metal Foils: the Flexible Substrates of the Present 
    2.3.3 The Future: Flexible Glass, Paper, and Textiles 
    2.4 Key Points from This Chapter 
    Chapter Three: Markets for Flexible Substrates 
    3.1 Flexible Substrates and Roll-To-Roll Devices 
    3.1.1 Smartcards 
    3.1.2 RFID Tags 
    3.1.3 Disposable Electronics 
    3.2 Flexible Displays and Lighting 
    3.2.1 Liquid Crystal Displays 
    3.2.2 OLED Displays and Lighting 
    3.2.3 Electrophoretic Displays 
    3.3 Solar Panels 
    3.3.1 Flexible BIPV 
    3.2.2 Flexible PV for Mobile Chargers 
    3.2.3 Substrate Markets for PV 
    3.4 Smart Textiles 
    3.5 Sensors 
    3.5.1 Flexible Substrates for Large-Area Sensors 
    3.6 Key Points From this Chapter 
    Chapter Four: Markets for Flexible Substrates 
    4.1 Forecasting and Research Methodology 
    4.1.1 Scope of Forecast 
    4.1.2 Data Sources for the Forecast and for the Report 
    4.1.3 Demand, Economic and Policy Issues 
    4.1.4 A Note about Data Precision 
    4.2 R2R Electronics 
    4.2.1 Smartcards 
    4.2.2 RFID Tags 
    4.2.3 Disposable Electronics 
    4.3 Displays and Lighting 
    4.3.1 Liquid Crystal Displays 
    4.3.2 OLED Displays 
    4.3.3 E-Paper Displays 
    4.3.4 Touch-Screen Sensors 
    4.3.5 OLED Lighting
    4.3.6 Summary of Display and Lighting Markets (LDG:  Wasn't sure why you highlighted “Lighting”) 
    4.4 Solar Cells 
    4.5 Sensors and Medical Applications 
    4.6 Eight-year Forecasts for the Flexible Substrate Market by Type of Material 
    4.7 Alternative Scenarios for Flexible Substrate Markets 
    Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report 
    About the Author 

    List of Exhibits
    Exhibit E-1: Summary of Flexible Substrate Market 
    Exhibit 2-1: Properties of Flexible Substrates and Some Thin-Film Transistor Materials 
    Exhibit 3-1: Display Types and Flexible Substrate Potential 
    Exhibit 4-1: Prices of Flexible Substrate Materials 
    Exhibit 4-2: Flexible Substrates in R2R Electronics Markets 
    Exhibit 4-3: Flexible Substrates for OLED Displays – Flexible Products 
    Exhibit 4-4: Flexible Substrates for OLED Displays – Rigid R2R Products 
    Exhibit 4-5: Flexible Substrates for E-Paper Displays – Flexible Products 
    Exhibit 4-6: Flexible Substrates for E-Paper Displays – Rigid Products 
    Exhibit 4-7: Flexible Substrates in the Display Touch Sensor Industry 
    Exhibit 4-8: Flexible Substrates for OLED Lighting – Flexible Products 
    Exhibit 4-9: Flexible Substrates for OLED Lighting – Rigid Products 
    Exhibit 4-10: Summary of Substrates for Flexible Display and Lighting Products 
    Exhibit 4-11: Flexible Substrates in the OLED Display Industry: Rigid R2R Products 
    Exhibit 4-12: Flexible TFPV Substrates – Flexible Products 
    Exhibit 4-13: Flexible OPV/DSC Substrates – Flexible Products 
    Exhibit 4-14: Flexible Substrates in the Solar Industry – Flexible Products 
    Exhibit 4-15: Flexible Substrates for Rigid R2R TFPV Products 
    Exhibit 4-16: Flexible Substrates for Large Area Sensor Applications – Flexible R2R Products 
    Exhibit 4-17: Flexible Substrates for Large Area Sensor Applications – Rigid R2R Products 
    Exhibit 4-18: Total Flexible Substrates for Sensor Applications 
    Exhibit 4-19: Summary of Flexible Glass Markets 
    Exhibit 4-20: Summary of Metal Substrate Markets 
    Exhibit 4-21: Summary of Plastic Substrate Markets 
    Exhibit 4-22: Summary of Flexible Substrate Market 


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