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Crystalline solar cells are made up of silicon wafers. Cell processing is initially independent of the substrate material, which is usually made up of glass and solar cells and modules are separated from the start on a suitable substrate. A substrate is a glass pane which is several millimeters wide. On the front side of a solar module in particular, the glass offers the important advantage that it is insensitive to environmental influences and that it provides excellent mechanical stability which can resist extreme conditions such as heavy snow loads and even hail .
Flexible substrate materials are used for exploration of photovoltaics. In addition, the deposition on flexible substrates offer the potential for significant cost reduction due to the large decrease in energy levels required for heating the film prior to coating .
Flexible substrates are also defined as ultra-thin and ultra-light base components, upon which electronic devices are deposited at the time of accumulation of electronic circuits, in order to fabricate extremely lightweight and rollable flexible electronics. Some of the most-commonly used materials in flexible substrates are glass, plastic, and stainless steel.
In terms of geography, North America dominates the global flexible substrates market due to improved electronics technologies in this region. The U.S. represents the largest market for flexible substrates, followed by Canada in North America. In Europe, Germany, the U.K., Spain, Italy, and France hold major share of the flexible substrates market. Asia is expected to witness high growth rates in the next five years in the flexible substrates market, as many companies are constructing manufacturing facilities in this region. Less stringent wagesand availability of skilled labor attracts manufacturing companies to invest in Asia. In addition, improving electronics technologies is also boostinggrowth of the flexible substrates market in this region. Japan, China, and India are expected to be the fastest-growing flexible substrates markets in Asia .
Emerging field of printed electronics technologies is the key driver of growth of the global flexible substrates market. Printed electronics technologies are used to create electrical devices on various substrates. In addition, increasing demand for organic light emitting diodes (OLED) is also boosting growth of the global flexible substrates market. OLEDs are light-emitting panels made from carbon-based organic materials that emit light when electricity is applied. OLEDs are used to make beautiful and efficient displays, and to create white light panels for lighting.
Moreover, development of flexible medical devices and increasing adoption of organic electronics-based IC designing methods for non-invasive monitoring devices indicatepotential for growthofthe global flexible substrates market.
However, stringent regulations restrain growth of the global flexible substrates market. Rising product launches and increasing number of mergers and acquisitions among drug manufacturing companies are some of the latest trends in the global flexible substrates market.
Some of the major companies operating in the global flexible substrates market are E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Heraeus Materials Technology GmbH & Co. KG, SCHOTT North America, Inc., Heraeus Packaging Technology, American Semiconductor, Inc., 3M Company, Arlon Graphics LLC, BenQ Materials Corporation, Griff Paper and Film, AzCoat, Inc., Corning, Inc., Rogers Corporation, Porex Corporation, Polyonics, Inc., and Griff Paper and Film.