Thin-film battery technology gained considerable momentum in recent years and now moves toward commercialization. This is due, in part, to significant advances in thin-film battery materials for substrates, anode and cathode components; additional developments optimized deposition techniques to produce quality thin-film batteries. Nevertheless, the high cost of these batteries is a major challenge that must be addressed to ensure commercial success.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Advances in Thin-Film Batteries, finds that the small form factor, safety and long life of the thin-film batteries will drive their demand in microelectronic applications.
“Thin-film batteries are smaller, safer and more environmental friendly than conventional batteries, and they also have longer lifetimes,” notes Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights Research Analyst Elaine Chan. “There is a growing interest to replace conventional batteries, such as coin cells, with thin-film batteries in applications such as RFID tags, sensors, smart cards and labels, as well as portable devices. In the medical sector, thin-film batteries could be used for powering diagnostic devices, medical sensors and medical implants.”
Ongoing research in thin-film battery technology includes improved and cost-effective deposition techniques. Developments also involve advances in nanomaterials that will encourage the creation of next-generation materials with potential use in thin-film batteries and components.
Thin-film batteries are, however, considerably more expensive than conventional batteries due to their high manufacturing costs. For market success, the technology needs to progress to a degree where it can compete with coin cells technologies on price as well as performance characteristics.
“The thin-film battery components are prepared by deposition techniques such as those used in the semiconductor industry, and it remains to be seen whether the ideal cost-effective production mechanism can be quickly achieved,” says Chan. “Once low-cost thin-film batteries can be manufactured, the technology will most likely replace conventional batteries in their applications.”
Thin-film battery manufacturers can lower battery costs by optimizing their production techniques and by integrating batteries into the devices they power.
In addition, manufacturers should distribute their focus equally among lowering the costs, achieving large power density, and ensuring superior power management. A sound technological base at the R&D stage will translate to high-volume manufacturing. Strategic partnerships among manufacturers at both the supply and demand or application sides would also hasten the entry of the technology into the market.
Advances in Thin-Film Batteries is part of the Technical Insights program and provides a technology overview and outlook for thin-film batteries. Furthermore, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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