Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable, Flexible, Thin-Film Batteries: a Global Industry and Market Analysis

Date: October 22, 2010
Pages: 97
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Flexible thin-film batteries are ideally suited for a variety of applications where small power sources are needed. They can be manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes, as required by the customer. By using the available space within a device, the battery can provide the required power while occupying otherwise wasted space and adding negligible mass.

The thin-paper battery is suitable for applications requiring low-voltage power (1.5V to 3.0V), where traditional button cell batteries are problematic to use. Such thin-film or power-paper batteries will work exactly like traditional batteries, but will be nearly as thin as a piece of paper. A power-paper cell can generate 1.5V of electricity, which is approximately the same output as that of a watch or calculator battery. A power-paper cell will be 0.5mm thick, and several cells can be used in combination to provide more power.

Non-rechargeable thin-film batteries are normally printed and may be either zinc-manganese chemistry (such as a paper battery) or lithium polymer chemistry. Chargeable thin-film batteries are lithium-ion batteries and have solid lithium cores rather than liquid cores, so they are less vulnerable to overheating and catching fire. They lose virtually no power over time, and can be recharged thousands of times before they need to be replaced. The thin-film industry is developing miniaturized versions of this technology. A thin-film battery can be smaller than a postage stamp and twice its thickness, can be manufactured in various shapes, and can attach directly to a computer chip.

Power-paper batteries are printed directly onto thin substrates such as paper, so they are far more flexible than any other batteries due to their ultra-thin profile, low thermal mass, and ability to operate in harsh environments. Non-rechargeable thin-film batteries are uniquely suited as power sources for one-time password display-type smart cards, semi-battery-assisted passive (BAP) radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, semi-active tags with sensors (used in functional packaging), cosmetic and medical patches, consumer music greeting cards, toys and novelties.

Rechargeable thin-film batteries are suited for ultra-low power energy harvesting systems for wireless sensor networks, including ultra-small scale energy harvesting power systems (below 100 milli-amps) of wireless devices. The batteries are rechargeable, which means their size need be no larger than required to satisfy the energy requirements on a single cycle, thus reducing cost and weight; this characteristic in itself may give birth to new applications.

Thin-film batteries – seamlessly integrated into the objects they power – will mirror other integrated circuits on the miniaturization curve, as power itself becomes a component subject to Moore’s Law. Vertical and lateral build-outs in the industry will swell, flooding the marketplace with myriad useful new gadgets and peripherals. All these advancements will provide the breakthroughs needed to put power anywhere, in any form factor imaginable. Power will be lightweight, fully mobile, inexpensive and pervasive.

STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

Thin-film battery power systems differ from regular rechargeable micro-batteries used in notebooks, PDAs and mobile phones, which are available in prismatic, cylindrical and button forms. Commercially, low-profile micro-battery buttons have thicknesses ranging from 0.9mm to 2.1mm, compared to thicknesses below 0.6mm for flexible thin-film batteries.

Rechargeable thin-film cells can be stored for decades yet retain almost all their charge, according to developers, and they deliver powerful bursts of energy whenever needed. In many applications, they also can be actively used for decades, since they can be charged and discharged tens of thousands of times. To date, small-scale power supplies have been the missing link in the information revolution, a significant obstacle to the ubiquitous computing “aware environments” and smart machines that have been heralded as the next big wave of silicon intelligence.

Within the decade, however, all this will change. As the micro-device market grows, new innovations will redefine the personal uses of power. The individual will be free from household and workplace power grids, relying – when desired – on personal (and personalized) mobile power systems. Connectivity, communication and knowledge management will be forever changed.

Roll-to-roll production of thin-film printed batteries will be low cost and high volume. These batteries can be manufactured in any size, shape, voltage, or power capacity needed. Thin-film batteries are positioned to become the next generation of lithium batteries for portable electronic applications.

Therefore, this study focuses on thin-film batteries that can be used in powering one-time password display-type smart cards, semi-BAP RFID tags, semi-active tags with temperature sensors (used in functional packaging or smart packaging), interactive merchandising displays, cosmetic and medical patches, greeting cards, toys and novelty items, as well as energy storage in ultra-low power (ULP) energy harvesting power systems (below 100milli-amps) of wireless devices.

This study provides market data about the size and growth of thin-film battery applications segments and new developments, including a detailed patent analysis, company profiles and industry trends. Another goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the market in North America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Korea and the rest of the world (ROW) for thin-film batteries and potential future business opportunities.

The objectives include thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the thin-film battery business as well as assessments of new, advanced thin-film batteries that companies are developing. Also covered are legislative pressures for more safety and environmental protection, as well as users’ expectations for economical thin-film batteries. Another important objective is to provide realistic market data and forecasts for thin-film batteries. This study provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. It also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in thin-film batteries throughout the world. This, in turn, contributes to consideration of what kinds of strategic responses companies may adopt in order to compete in this dynamic market.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

Global megatrends of portability, connectivity, tracking, safety, environmental protection, automation, and do-it-yourself healthcare are driving innovations in flat, flexible, functional devices like display-type plastic smart cards, RFIDs, data loggers, displays, drug-delivery patches, sensors and displays. These new devices, sometimes referred to as “smart active labels,” address the urgent need for safe and small-form-function power sources. iRAP had conducted a study on the same subject in 2007. However, with increasing requirements for smart cards, sensors, and medical and consumer applications, many new developments and new products have appeared in the market. Therefore, iRAP felt a need to do a detailed technology and market update. along with a detailed analysis in this industry.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY

This study is intended to benefit existing manufacturers of BAP RFID tags, display- type OTP smartcards, smart packaging, medical implantables, microelectronics products and energy harvesting systems for wireless sensors, as well as manufacturers who seek to expand revenues and market opportunities by moving into new technologies such as thin-film batteries. This study also will benefit manufacturers of thin-film batteries and component manufacturers who deal with new types of thin-film batteries for power-hungry electronic products including wireless sensors and chips.

The study also provides the most complete account of thin-film battery growth in North America, Europe, Japan, China and the rest of the world currently available in a multi-client format. These markets have also been estimated according to types of materials used, such as lithium phosphorus oxynitride, solid-polymer electrolytes and zinc-manganese electrode bases using solid electrolytes.

This report provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides an extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in emerging markets for thin-film batteries such as, for example, China. This contributes to the determination of what kinds of strategic responses suppliers may adopt in order to compete in these dynamic markets.

SCOPE AND FORMAT

The market data contained in this report quantify opportunities for thin-film batteries. In addition to product types, the report also covers many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of the thin-film batteries business, including corporate strategies, information technologies and the means for providing these highly advanced products and service offerings. It also covers in detail the economic and technological issues regarded by many as critical to the industry’s current state of change. The report provides a review of the thin-film battery industry and its structure, as well as the many companies involved in providing these batteries and related products. The competitive positions of the main players in the thin-film battery markets and the strategic options they face are also discussed, along with such competitive factors as marketing, distribution and operations.

TO WHOM THE STUDY CATERS

The study will benefit existing manufacturers of handheld electronic consumer products who seek to expand revenues and market opportunities by growing into the new technology of thin-film batteries, which are now positioned to become a preferred solution for many types of energy storage and power delivery applications.

This study provides a technical overview of the thin-film batteries most appropriate for RFID tags, smart cards, medical implantables, wireless chips, sensors, etc., looking at major technology developments and existing barriers. Audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers and other decision makers in thin-film battery companies and companies peripheral to this business.

REPORT SUMMARY

The thin-film battery (TFB) market is an attractive and still-growing multimillion dollar market characterized by very high production volumes of thin-film batteries that must be extremely reliable and low in cost. Thin-film lithium and lithium-ion batteries are ideally suited for a variety of applications where small power sources are needed. By using the available space within a device, the battery can provide the required power while occupying otherwise wasted space and adding negligible mass.

Three very distinct types of flexible TFB technologies exist – lower performance printed TFBs, single-use higher performance lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries, and solid-state rechargeable lithium phosphorous oxynitride (LiPON) batteries (which are the most expensive). Currently, non-rechargeable zinc batteries can be fully printed and used in roll-to-roll manufacturing processes.

The range of possible applications for these batteries derives from their important advantages over conventional battery technologies. They can be made in virtually any shape and size to meet the requirements of an application. The batteries are rechargeable, which means their size need be no larger than is required to satisfy the energy requirements on a single cycle, thus reducing cost and weight, which in itself may give birth to new applications.

Up until now, various power factors have impinged on the advancement and development of microdevices. Power density, cell weight, battery life and form factor all have proven significant and cumbersome when considered for microapplications. Batteries of the future will need to be miniaturized, untethered, and portable.

The Summary Table and Summary Figure below project market trends for thin-film batteries according to region. The global market for thin-film batteries is expected to reach $90million in 2010. This market will increase to $600million by 2015 with a growth rate of 46.1% annually for the next five year.

Other major findings of this report are:
  • The range for the average annual growth rate (AAGR) is expected to be 37.9% to 67.8% for the six major regions surveyed for the period 2010 to 2015.
  • Regionally, North America is expected to capture about 40% of the market in 2010, followed by Europe at 36% and the rest of the world (ROW) at 24%, dominated by Japan, Korea and China.
  • The market for thin-film batteries used in one-time password (OTP), display-type smart cards for banking will be highest in 2010.
  • Disposable medical cosmetic patches, electronic games and entertainment devices, music greeting cards using non-rechargeable thin printed battery (zinc-manganese chemistry), low power semi-active tags used with sensors, and battery-assisted passive (BAP) radio frequency identification (RFID) devices will have a combined market share of over one-third of the total market in 2010.
  • Ultra-low power energy harvesting devices (solar, thermal, vibration) using rechargeable lithium-ion or similar type batteries will be a distant third in 2010 and will slightly increase its share by 2015.
  • The main factor slowing growth of the market for thin-film/printed batteries at present is high cost. Thin-film/printable batteries are currently unable to compete with conventional battery technology on price. This will change as volumes for thin-film/printed batteries ramp up and technology improves.
  • Among the three technologies covered in this report, in 2010 the market share for non-rechargeable thin zinc-manganese printed batteries is the highest followed by lithium polymer thin-film non-rechargeable battery technology and rechargeable thin-film lithium-ion batteries as a distant third.
INTRODUCTION

Study Goal and Objectives
Reasons for Doing the Study
Contributions of the Study
Scope and Format
Methodology
Information Sources
To Whom the Study Caters
Author’s Credentials

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summary Table Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Region Through 2015
Summary Figure Global Market for Thin-film Batteries by Region, 2010 and 2015
Summary (continued)

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

Leading Manufacturers
Key Impact of Thin-film Batteries
Competitive Innovation Trends
Research Trends in Thin-film Batteries
Application Trends
Application Trends (continued)

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

Types of Technologies
Types of Technologies (continued)
Table 1 key Terminologies Used in Thin-film Batteries
Table 1 (continued)
Table 1 (continued)
Table 1 (continued)
Table 2 Typical Thicknesses of Commercially Available
Thin-film Batteries in 2010
Zinc-manganese Thin-film Batteries
Manganese-zinc-oxide-based Cathode Using Solid Electrolytes
Figure 1 Typical Non-rechargeable Zinc-manganese Thin-film Battery
Construction
Figure 2 Voltage Achieved in a Single Non-rechargeable Zincmanganese
Thin-film Battery
Characteristics
Thin-film Primary Lithium Solid Polymer Electrolyte (spe) Battery
Construction
Figure 3 Typical Non-rechargeable Lithium Polymer Thin-film Battery
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Thin-film Battery Using Lipon as the Electrolyte
Chemistry Choices
Table 3 Chemistries and Production Methods Adopted for Typical Rechargeable Solid-state Lithium-ion Thin-film Batteries
Table 3 (continued)
Construction
Figure 4 a View of Five Different Typical Rechargeable, Solidstate, Lithium-ion, Thin-film Batteries
Characteristics of Thin-film, Rechargeable Batteries
Characteristics of Thin-film, Rechargeable Batteries (continued)
Table 4 Performance and Characterstics of Three Rechargeable, Solid-state, Lithium-ion, Thin-film Batteries
Table 5 Comparison of Battery Performance
Applications
One-time Password, Display-type Smart Cards
One-time Password, Display-type Smart Cards (continued)
Figure 5 Three Types of One-time Password, Display-type Smart Cards Using Non-rechargeable Lithium Polymer Thin-film Batteries
Disposable Medical Cosmetic Patches
Disposable Medical Cosmetic Patches (continued)
Figure 6 a Typical Medical Patch Using Non-rechargeable, Printed, Zinc Manganese, Thin-film Batteries
Ultra-low Power Energy Harvesting for Wireless Sensor Networks
Figure 7 Typical Ultra-low Power Energy Harvesting Solar Device for a Wireless Sensor Network Using a Rechargeable, Solidstate, Lithium-ion, Thin-film Battery
Consumer Music Greeting Cards, Toys and Novelties
Battery-assisted Passive Rfid Tags/labels
Figure 8 Typical Battery-assisted, Semi-passive, Rfid tag Using Nonrechargeable, Printed Zinc Manganese, Thin-film Battery
Semi-active Tags Used in Functional Packaging
Semi-active Tags Used in Functional Packaging (continued)
Figure 9 a Typical Smart Package (functional Packaging) Using a
Non- Rechargeable, Printed, Zinc Manganese, Thin-film Battery
Emerging Materials Used in Thin-film Batteries
Emerging Materials Used in Thin-film Batteries (continued)
Table 6 Ongoing Research in Chemistry and Fabrication of Thinfilm Batteries in 2010
Table 6 (continued)
Table 6 (continued)

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE

Market Players
Table 7 Thin-film Battery Manufacturers, Material Suppliers, end Users and System Integrators
Leading Manufacturers
Table 8 top Manufacturers of Thin-film Batteries in 2010
Partnerships and Consolidations
Partnerships and Consolidations (continued)
Table 9 Partnerships and Collaborations Among Manufacturers of Thin-film Batteries From 2004 to 2010
Table 9 (continued)
Funding
Table 10 Funding for Manufacturing of Thin-film Batteries, 2006 to 2010
Price Structure
Price Structure (continued)

GLOBAL MARKET AND REGIONAL SHARES

Market According to Applications
Table 11 Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Application Through 2015
Figure 10 Share of Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Application, 2010 and 2015
Market by Technology
Table 12 Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Technology Through 2015
Figure 11 Share of Global Market for Thin-film, Flexible Batteries by Technology Through 2015
Regional Markets
Table 13 Global Market for Thin-film, Flexible Batteries by Region Through 2015
Figure 12 Share of Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Region Through 2015

PATENTS AND PATENT ANALYSIS

List of Patents
Flexible Thin Printed Battery and Device and Method of Manufacturing Same
Adhesive Bandage With Display
Dermal Patch
Method, Apparatus, and kit for Onychomycosis Treatment
Active Wireless Tagging System on Peel and Stick Substrate
Getters for Thin Film Battery Hermetic Package
Method of Manufacturing Lithium Battery
Long-life Thin-film Battery and Method Therefor
Layered Barrier Structure Having one or More Definable Layers and Method
Method of Making a Thin Layer Electrochemical Cell With Self-formed Separator
Combination Stimulating and Exothermic Heating Device and Method of use Thereof
Battery-operated Wireless-communication Apparatus and Method
Thin-film Battery and Electrolyte Therefor
Battery-assisted Backscatter Rfid Transponder
Polyimide-based Lithium Metal Battery
Method and Apparatus for Thin-film Battery Having Ultra-thin Electrolyte
Kit, Device and Method for Controlled Delivery of Oxidizing Agent Into the Skin
Thin Layer Electrochemical Cell With Self-formed Separator
Apparatus and Method for Depositing Material Onto a Substrate Using a Roll-to-roll Mask
Solid-state Mems Activity-activated Battery Device and Method
Solid Electrolyte, Method for Preparing the Same, and Battery Using the Same
Solid Electrolyte and Battery Employing the Same
Packaged Thin-film Batteries and Methods of Packaging Thin-film Batteries
Polyimide Matrix Electrolyte
Thin-film Battery Having Ultra-thin Electrolyte and Associated Method
Method for Synthesizing Thin Film Electrodes
Thin-film Battery and Method of Manufacture
Method and Apparatus for an Ambient Energy Battery Recharge System
Thin-film Battery Devices and Apparatus for Making the Same
Thin-film Battery Having Ultra-thin Electrolyte
Method for Producing an Electrochemical Element
Continuous Processing of Thin-film Batteries and Like Devices
Method for Producing a Rechargeable Electrochemical Element
Electrochemical Element
Method and Apparatus for an Ambient Energy Battery or Capacitor Recharge System
Thin Electronic Chip Card and Method of Making Same
Thin-film Battery and Method of Manufacture
Thin Layer Electrochemical Cell With Self-formed Separator
Long-life Thin-film Battery and Method Therefor
Device Enclosures and Devices With Integrated Battery
Patent Analysis
Table 14 Number of U.s. Patents Granted to Companies for Thinfilm Batteries From 2006 Through 2010 (up to March 31)
Figure 13 top Companies in Terms of U.s. Patents Granted for Thin film
Batteries From 2006 Through 2010 (up to March 31)
International Overview of U.s. Patent Activity in Thin-film Batteries
Table 15 Number of U.s. Patents Granted by Assigned Country/region for Thin-film Batteries From January 2006 Through March 2010
International Overview of U.s. Patent Activity (continued)

COMPANY PROFILES

ADVANCED MATERIALS INNOVATION CENTER (AMIC)
AJJER LLC
AVESO, INC.
BLUE SPARK TECHNOLOGIES
CYMBET™ CORPORATION
DZ CARD (THAILAND) LTD.
EM MICROELECTRONIC-MARIN SA
EMUE TECHNOLOGIES
ENABLE IPC CORPORATION
ENFUCELL OY LTD
EXCELLATRON SOLID STATE LLC
FRAUNHOFER ENAS – FRAUNHOFER RESEARCH INSTITUTION FOR ELEKCRONIC NANO SYSTEMS
FRONT EDGE TECHNOLOGY, INC
GIESECKE & DEVRIENT GMBH
GRUPO INTELIGENSA
INFINITE POWER SOLUTIONS, INC.
INNOVATIVE CARD TCHNOLOGIES INC. (INCARD TECHNOLOGIES)
ITN ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.
KSW MICROTEC AG
MICROELECTRONICA MASER, S.L.
NAGRAID SA - KUDELSKI GROUP
NANOENER, INC
NEC CORPORATION
NTERA, INC.
OAK RIDGE MICRO-ENERGY, INC.
OHARA CORPORATION
PLANAR ENERGY DEVICES
POWERID® LTD.
POWER PAPER LTD.
PRELONIC TECHNOLOGIES OG
ROCKET ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
SOLICORE, INC.
SWECARD AB
THE GREENBAT PROJECT
UPM RAFLATAC
VARTA MICROBATTERY GMBH
VISA EUROPE

LIST OF TABLES

Summary Table Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Region Through 2015
Table 1 key Terminologies Used in Thin-film Batteries
Table 1 (continued)
Table 1 (continued)
Table 1 (continued)
Table 2 Typical Thicknesses of Commercially Available Thin-film Batteries in 2010
Table 3 Chemistries and Production Methods Adopted for Typical Rechargeable Solid-state Lithium-ion Thin-film Batteries
Table 3 (continued)
Table 4 Performance and Characterstics of Three Rechargeable, Solid-state, Lithium-ion, Thin-film Batteries
Table 5 Comparison of Battery Performance
Table 6 Ongoing Research in Chemistry and Fabrication of Thinfilm Batteries in 2010
Table 6 (continued)
Table 6 (continued)
Table 7 Thin-film Battery Manufacturers, Material Suppliers, end Users and System Integrators
Table 8 top Manufacturers of Thin-film Batteries in 2010
Table 9 Partnerships and Collaborations Among Manufacturers of Thin-film Batteries From 2004 to 2010
Table 9 (continued)
Table 10 Funding for Manufacturing of Thin-film Batteries, 2006 to 2010
Table 11 Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Application Through 2015
Table 12 Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Technology Through 2015
Table 13 Global Market for Thin-film, Flexible Batteries by Region Through 2015
tab le 14 Number of U.S. Patents Granted to Companies for Thinfilm Batteries From 2006 Through 2010 (up to March 31)
Table 15 Number of U.S. Patents Granted by Assigned Country/region for Thin-film Batteries From January 2006 Through March 2010

LIST OF FIGURES

Summary Figure Global Market for Thin-film Batteries by Region, 2010 and 2015
Figure 1 Typical Non-rechargeable Zinc-manganese Thin-film Battery
Figure 2 Voltage Achieved in a Single Non-rechargeable Zincmanganese Thin-film Battery
Figure 3 Typical Non-rechargeable Lithium Polymer Thin-film Battery
Figure 4 a View of Five Different Typical Rechargeable, Solidstate, Lithium-ion, Thin-film Batteries
Figure 5 Three Types of One-time Password, Display-type Smart Cards Using Non-rechargeable Lithium Polymer Thin-film Batteries
Figure 6 a Typical Medical Patch Using Non-rechargeable, Printed, Zinc Manganese, Thin-film Batteries
Figure 7 Typical Ultra-low Power Energy Harvesting Solar Device for a Wireless Sensor Network Using a Rechargeable, Solidstate, Lithium-ion, Thin-film Battery
Figure 8 Typical Battery-assisted, Semi-passive, Rfid tag Using Nonrechargeable, Printed Zinc Manganese, Thin-film Battery
Figure 9 a Typical Smart Package (functional Packaging) Using a Non- Rechargeable, Printed, Zinc Manganese, Thin-film Battery
Figure 10 Share of Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Application, 2010 and 2015
Figure 11 Share of Global Market for Thin-film, Flexible Batteries by Technology Through 2015
Figure 12 Share of Global Market for Thin-film Flexible Batteries by Region Through 2015
Figure 13 top Companies in Terms of U.s. Patents Granted for Thinfilm Batteries From 2006 Through 2010 (up to March 31)
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