University Prints OLEDs on Paper

Research at the University of Sheffield in the UK has led to the possibility of new ways to display information on product packaging. Working with Cambridge-based Novalia, the University describes packaging with printed electronics showing simple and dynamic information.

Examples of the uses of this type of packaging include changing messages, or countdown timers for products like hair dye and pregnancy tests.

The screen is produced by printing electronic tracks onto paper, and then affixing low-cost electronics and a polymer OLED display, using a conductive adhesive. The printing used a low-cost graphite ink. Brightness has reached 210 cd/m².

A touch-pad keyboard was also developed on the paper, which can be used to selectively ‘drive’ the OLEDs in the display via CMOS-based electronics. Three AAA batteries are used to drive the display, touchpad and electronics.

Testing has so far been limited to paper, but other materials could be used in the future.

A future development for the team is to create fully flexible organic displays on a plastic substrate, which could then be fixed to the electronic tracks.

This research was published in the Journal of Display Technology, Vol PP., issue 99, and can be found at,

Analyst Comment

Our thanks to David Barnes for bringing this research to our attention.