Washington, July 6 : Scientists have long dreamt of being able to print electronic components directly onto organic materials such as paper, fabrics, or plastic. Now, a group of European researchers have taken a major step towards the goal of developing printable electronics that can be used for creating radio frequency identification tags and flexible watch displays.
In addition to being able to fabricate large numbers of everyday devices such as watch displays and other applications cheaply, they envision novel applications including electronic paper, eyeglasses with embedded displays, or even smart clothing.
Researchers in the EU-funded CONTACT project have demonstrated that with suitable inks and printers, organic liquid crystal displays and other optical electronic devices can be printed out precisely, reports Science Daily.
The Technical University of Ilmenau, a CONTACT partner, has shown that within the printing process patterned glass plates can be used.
The project researchers hope to follow this proof-of-principle by developing a state-of-the-art gravure printing press, called Labratester 2.
The press will be able to print hundreds of thousands of organic thin film transistor (TFT) arrays or other devices precisely and efficiently.