On 20 November, the Printed Electronics Arena had a one day meeting in Norrkoping Science Park Sweden. About 60 people are employed on printed electronics between Norrkoping and Linkoping, 25 kilometers away. While this effort is not as great as in the hottest regions for printed electronics in Europe - Cambridge UK, Eindhoven in the Netherlands and Dresden in Germany, it is growing and it has a unique experience of paper electronics, one wave of the future, and a strong background in reel to reel printing of electronics.
Many ultra low cost components on paper and plastic
Dr Peter Harrop of IDTechEx gave the keynote presentation on the subject followed by presentations from Michael Logdlund of ACREO on paper electronics produced with conventional printing equipment. He presented the ACREO smart packaging roadmap and described the many PEDOT electrochemical devices from ACREO that act as temporarily bipolar displays, MOSFET depletion mode transistors at 0.5 to 1.5 V with a switch time of seconds and large current densities and so on. There is also a MnO2Zn 1.5v 1 amp max load 300 microamp continuous printed battery being developed in collaboration with Varta Microbattery, with advantage of thinness over the incumbent versions from Enfucell, TBT and Power Paper. All are seen as building blocks for advanced circuitry on paper or plastic, including origami electronics, one example being an ultra low cost timer. A simple matrix addressed paper display has also been made and a label with display, push buttons, logic and battery and other products.
Dry phase patterning and e-ID
Staffan Nordlinder of ACREO spoke on roll to roll dry phase patterning with various metals, which is claimed to have a considerable cost advantage and be appropriate for automotive, water bed and special metal elements, plus RFID and EAS (anti theft tags). Dr Petronella Norberg of ACREO described printed e-ID being jointly developed by M-real, Agfa Gevaert, ACREO and Stora Enso.
SustainPack - a 30 million Euro program
Mats Robertsson of the European Commission SustainPack program described its progress in developing a wide range of communicative packaging. Many Swedish companies participate in this. SustainPack is the largest packaging project funded by the EU. The main objective is to ensure future competitiveness of fibre based packaging by employing nanotechnology. SustainPack has a €30 million funding over four years and it employs 35 organisations in Europe.
Oxygen, relative humidity and carbon dioxide indicators, anti-counterfeiting, tamper recording, smart cornflake packets and much more have been demonstrated. There will be a printed temperature logger on paper, at a few Euro cents, that costs little more than today's non electronic responsive ink time temperature recorders, though it will not have all the functionality of the silicon chip time temperature recorder label available in the market. This could be a breakthrough, because chip TTR labels have been a disappointment commercially due to a price of many dollars each. The basic structure of the paper TTR can incorporate many other sensors that have been developed. Many sensors have been examined including ones based on thermistors, thermocouples and electrochemical transistors.
Ragnar Fridman presented on the work of the Printed Electronics Arena.