Acreo has developed a printing technique for printed touchless keypads

18 April, 2011 - 13:30

Acreo has developed a technology for all-printed touchless keypads

2011-04-18: Acreo has within the European project 3PLAST developed a technology that enables printing of a system including sensor elements, transistors and displays integrated into an all-printed human machine interface (HMI) sensor device. The sensor device is very sensitive to small changes in temperature and pressure, and can therefore be used to produce sensors activated either by human body radiation, pressure or a light source emitting in the infrared wavelength region. The sensitivity to human body radiation has been demonstrated by finger movements, which is suitable for utilization in touchless keypad applications.


April 5th 2011 the achievements within the 3PLAST consortium was awarded with the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe 2011 Academics R&D Award, for an all-printed low-cost active-matrix sensor array, a project organized by Fraunhofer ISC, with Joanneum Research as the scientific coordinator.


The consortium has developed ink pastes and processing technologies to reduce the complexity of multi-component sensor devices. The all-printed active-matrix sensor array was manufactured by using only five non-toxic inks and a minimum number of processing steps, thereby forming a low-cost and sustainable manufacturing technique for large-area printed organic electronic systems on flexible substrates.


"Printed electronics has the potential to dramatically change the manufacturing of electronic devices by providing processes targeting low-cost and high-volume production on flexible substrates. However, not many printed electronic systems have yet reached the market, mainly due to the high complexity of the manufacturing processes" says Dr. Peter Bodö, Senior Scientist at Acreo. "However, with the awarded results produced within the European 3PLAST project, we are one step closer to a broader market penetration for printed electronic systems."


Acreo's main mission in 3PLAST has been to transfer and integrate lab-scale thin film processes to large-area printing processes adapted for sensor production, along with the development of printed electrochemical transistors and printed electrochromic displays. Addressed printing techniques are: Screen-printing, ink-jet printing, bar coating, and R2R printing. PVDF-TrFE sensor elements, electrochemical transistors and electrochromic displays have been printed and monolithically integrated by Acreo into an all-printed human machine interface (HMI) sensor device.

In addition to the the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe 2011 Academics R&D Award, an article covering the topic of all-printed low-cost active-matrix sensor arrays has been accepted for publication in Advanced Materials.

For more information contact:

Dr. Peter Bodö, Senior Scientist at Acreo, peter.bodo(at)

phone: +46 (0)11 20 25 38


About 3PLAST

Acreo is a partner of the European FP7 project 3PLAST, a collaboration with Fraunhofer ISC, Fraunhofer IAP, Joanneum Research, ASEM GmbH, Festo AG & Co. KG, IEE S.A., Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Celeras GmbH and Emfit Ltd, in which a pyroelectric and piezoelectric printable large area sensor technology has been developed. Within 3PLAST, novel concepts combining physical polymer sensors with organic electronics, all printed on large-area flexible substrates, are developed.


About Acreo Printed Electronics

Our competence spans from novel materials to integrated systems and manufacturing. We have established a Platform of Printed Electronics components consisting of displays, transistors, diodes, and energy sources; which can be integrated into products creating innovative functionality. Acreo is primarily focusing on Packaging, Internet of Things and Health Care. In our printing facility we develop prototypes and have small scale production of components and integrated systems.


About Acreo

Acreo is one of Europe's top research companies providing breaking edge results within the field of electronics, optics and communication technologies. Turning academic research into commercial products, Acreo offers value-adding technology solutions for growth and competitiveness in industry and society. The types of assignments are ranging from feasibility studies, long term research projects, prototyping and small scale production, to verification and testing. Acreo also supports small and medium sized companies with technology transfer, business networks and financial advice. Acreo is part of Swedish ICT, and has about 145 employees located in Kista (headquarter), Norrköping and Hudiksvall, in Sweden.