The scientists collaborated with technology company Novalia to create a new way of displaying information on packaging.
University of Sheffield scientists and Novalia create new polymer LED screens for future packaging
The process involves printing electronic tracks onto paper and fixing low-cost electronics and a polymer LED display to the paper using an adhesive that conducts electricity.
The next step is to create fully flexible organic displays on a plastic substrate that then fix onto the electronic tracks.
Professor David Lidzey from the University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy said: “Labels on packaging could become much more innovative, and allow customers to interact with and explore new products.”
University of Sheffield scientists and Novalia also designed and constructed a touch-pad keyboard on the paper that allows a user to selectively ‘drive’ the LEDs in the display.
Chris Jones from Novalia said: “This innovative system we have developed with the University of Sheffield could give manufacturers a way to gain market share by being able to distinguish its products from competitors.”
This technology could be used in greetings cards or more complex developments such as pregnancy tests using a ‘traffic lights’ system, which would include a countdown timer on the side of a packet to indicate when a timed product is ready.
The research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).