This article shares some of the research carried out for a new IDTechEx report requested by several of the world’s largest chemical companies. They wish to de-risk their materials development programs concerned with electrically functional elements and compounds. They wish to do this by understanding what basic families of formulation will be most widely employed in the new electronics and electrics from Nano Electromechanical Devices (NEMS) to completely re-invented large lithium-ion batteries in electric cars and consumer electronics and wide area, flexible solar cells. Firstly, and uniquely, IDTechEx has taken a very close look at all this from the viewpoint of what high-value-added electrical materials will be needed over the coming decade. Secondly, we have looked at which families of compound are the most electronically and electrically versatile making them widely attractive to device designers and which families of compound are likely to sell in the largest gross value into these new markets.
The report is called Most-Needed Chemicals for New Disruptive Electronics and Electrics: De-risk Your Investment (www.IDTechEx.com/chemicals ). It establishes the most widely-demanded electrically-functional elements and compounds in three categories – inorganic elements and compounds, carbon isomers and organic compounds. Thirty-seven families of device are investigated from a chemical viewpoint, looking particularly at 28 important elements, compounds and carbon isomers in the world of the new devices. For example, we group fuel cells and lithium-metal rechargeable batteries (as opposed to lithium-ion) because both need highly sophisticated separator membranes – a major part of their cost. On the other hand, the new nano-lasers, flexible Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), printed inorganic Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and printed Liquid Crystal Device (LCD) displays are in something of a world of their own when it comes to chemistry.
Many applications for titanium
Titanium nitride and supercapacitors
Titanium nitride may have a place. Researchers at the University of Maryland and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed an electrostatic capacitor with 10 billion nanoscale capacitors per square centimeter, giving it 250 times greater surface area than that of a conventional capacitor of comparable size. The misleadingly called Nano Supercapacitor (it is not an EDLC) was being developed primarily as part of a hybrid battery-capacitor system for electric cars but nothing has reached the market yet.
Current commercial supercapacitors range from 0.5 to 40 Wh/kg, yet they think they can reach 3000 Wh/kg, a huge tenfold increase on even the best lithium-ion batteries in the laboratory today. For example, the range of a pure electric car could be 1600 km (1000 miles) vs 160 km (100 miles) today. Each nanopore created in aluminium is 50 nanometers in diameter and up to 30 micrometers deep. Next a sandwich of two layers of titanium nitride (TiN) metal separated by an insulation layer are deposited using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) into the pores topped with another layer of aluminium foil.
The versatility of inorganic titanium dioxide matches that of the organic gymnast of electronic and electrical properties, polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), though they rarely compete in device application. Both are even used as fillers and binders in new electrical and electronic devices and they are certainly among the compounds likely to be most widely used in the new electronics and electrics over the coming years. Nonetheless, our analysis has revealed even more popular chemistries in the future scenario.