Printing electronics as easily as newsprint has long been a compelling vision, promising cheaper circuits, sensors, solar panels and even displays. Known as roll-to-roll (R2R) electronics, it uses conductive and other functional inks printed onto flexible substrates. However, for many applications, R2R electronics has been held back by difficulty incorporating processing capabilities and a lack of high-volume applications. Flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) that employ mounted components largely resolve this technical issue, while there is a rapidly growing demand for low-cost sensors for applications such as electronic skin patches. With increasing investment from larger players, it seems that R2R electronics might finally be here.
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