Sustainability considerations for organic electronic products.

Iain McCulloch, Michael L Chabinyc, Christoph J. Brabec, C. B. Nielsen, Scott Edward Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of organic electronic applications has reached a critical point. While markets, including the Internet of Things, transparent solar and flexible displays, gain momentum, organic light-emitting diode displays lead the way, with a current market size of over $25 billion, helping to create the infrastructure and ecosystem for other applications to follow. It is imperative to design built-in sustainability into the materials selection, processing and device architectures of all of these emerging applications, and to close the loop for a circular approach. In this Perspective, we evaluate the status of embedded carbon in organic electronics, as well as options for more sustainable materials and manufacturing, including engineered recycling solutions that can be applied within the product architecture and at the end of life. This emerging industry has a responsibility to ensure a 'cradle-to-cradle' approach. We highlight that ease of dismantling and recycling needs to closely relate to the product lifetime, and that regeneration should be facilitated in product design. Materials choices should consider the environmental effects of synthesis, processing and end-product recycling as well as performance.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 19 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-06-22
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG10
Acknowledgements: I.M. acknowledges financial support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Office of Sponsored Research, CRG10; by the European Union Horizon 2020, grant agreement no. 952911; by BOOSTER, grant agreement no. 862474; by RoLA-FLEX; and grant agreement no. 101007084 from CITYSOLAR; as well as Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council projects EP/T026219/1 and EP/W017091/1. M.C. acknowledges financial support from the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under grant no. DE-SC0016390. C.B. acknowledges support from FAU Solar. C.B.N. acknowledges financial support from the European Commission Horizon 2020 Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) project MITICS (964677). For the purpose of open access, the authors have applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any author accepted manuscript version arising from this submission.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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