Singapore research produces world’s best protection film for plastic electronic devices
A team of scientists from Singapore’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) has developed a new patented film that has the highest reported water vapour barrier performance to date, as tested by the UK Centre for Process Innovation. The tests have shown that the new film is 1,000 times more impervious to moisture than existing technologies. This means a longer lifetime for plastic electronic devices such as solar cells and flexible displays that use these high-end films but whose sensitive organic materials are easily degraded by water vapour and oxygen.
The new technology is a boon to the burgeoning plastic electronics industry that aims to deliver flexible, lightweight and cheap electronics products to consumers in ways that silicon electronics may never reach such as disposable or wraparound displays, cheap identification tags, low cost solar cells and chemical and pressure sensitive sensors. The global plastic electronics industry is projected to grow to a market size of more than US$23 billion in the next 5 years.