Printed and hybrid integrated electronics using bio-based and recycled materials—increasing sustainability with greener materials and technologies

Marja K. Välimäki (Corresponding Author), Laura I. Sokka, Heidi B. Peltola, Sami S. Ihme, Teijo M.J. Rokkonen, Timo J. Kurkela, Jyrki T. Ollila, Arttu T. Korhonen, Jukka T. Hast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Printed and hybrid integrated electronics produced from recycled and renewable materials can reduce the depletion of limited material resources while obtaining energy savings in small electronic applications and their energy storage. In this work, bio-based poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) were fabricated in film extrusion process and utilized as a substrate in ultra-thin organic photovoltaics (OPV). In the device structure, metals and metal oxides were replaced by printing PEDOT:PSS, carbon and amino acid/heterocycles. Scalable, energy-efficient fabrication of solar cells resulted in efficiencies up to 6.9% under indoor light. Furthermore, virgin-PET was replaced with PLA and rPET in printed and hybrid integrated electronics where surface-mount devices (SMD) were die-bonded onto silver-printed PLA and virgin-PET films to prepare LED foils followed by an overmoulding process using the rPET and PLA. As a result, higher relative adhesion of PLA-PLA interface was obtained in comparison with rPET-PET interface. The obtained results are encouraging from the point of utilization of scalable manufacturing technologies and natural/recycled materials in printed and hybrid integrated electronics. Assessment showed a considerable decrease in carbon footprint, about 10–85%, mainly achieved through replacing of silver, virgin-PET and modifying solar cell structure. In outdoor light, the materials with low carbon footprint can decrease energy payback times (EPBT) from ca. 250 days to under 10 days. In indoor energy harvesting, it is possible to achieve EPBT of less than 1 year. The structures produced and studied herein have a high potential of providing sustainable energy solutions for example in IoT-related technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325–339
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Climate impacts
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Poly(lactic acid)
  • Printed electronics manufacturing
  • Printed solar cells
  • Recycled PET


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