Sustainability considerations for organic electronic products

Iain McCulloch, Michael Chabinyc, Christoph Brabec, Christian Bech Nielsen, Scott Edward Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


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)
Pages (from-to)1304-1310
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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