ProjectPAELLA - Paper electronics low-cost application

PAELLA - Paper electronics low-cost application

PAELLA project objective - Exploring possibilities of adding electronic functions to paper.

The PAELLA project was the cradle of printed electronics at Acreo, it was conducted during the years 1999-2002. The project constituted a marriage between newly developed electronic materials and established techniques used in paper conversion. Using materials such as conducting polymers, inks and pastes and techniques such as inkjet printing, screen printing and lamination, electronics is applied directly onto the surface of paper or paper products.

Today, Acreo has several projects that continue the developments achieved in the PAELLA project. The main theme in many of our activities is high-volume reel-to-reel production. More information concerning the PAELLA project is found below.

A description of the PAELLA project

The art of making paper has been known for thousands of years. As fabrication and conversion technologies have been developed and improved, the consumption of paper has increased, and its use as packaging, information carrier and tissue material is very well established in our society. From a technical point of view, one may regard paper as a highly refined product available at very low cost. This is possible thanks to reel-to-reel based technologies, which makes it possible to fabricate and convert paper products in high volumes at a low cost; In fact, paper is the largest surface ever produced by mankind. In several conversion processes such as printing, lamination and coating, materials are added to paper. These materials could be ink, toner, foils or others. During recent years, electronic materials such as conducting polymers, semi-conducting organic materials, inks, paste conductors and colour variable inks have been developed. Many of these novel electronic materials can be processed with standard printing and coating technologies. The PAELLA project is the outcome of a union between these newly developed materials and established conversion technologies for paper. We invent and develop novel electronics that can be fabricated in a reel-to-reel production procedure.

Among the different techniques we especially focus on the (silk) screen, lamination, spread/reel coating, offset, ink jet and dry phase deposition techniques. The dimensions (line widths and thickness) required for making electronic systems are suitable with what one obtains from these technologies. The electronic materials that we use are commercially available and we use common paper and paper products. Aiming at high-volume low-cost production, only materials that would cause no or little environmental damage are selected. Specific targets in the project relate to designing and developing production processes for component structures tailored for the paper surface. We have gathered around three different demonstrators, sensors, tags for wireless communication and paper displays.
The PAELLA project at Acreo was financed by its parties. Almost ten people were working in the project at Acreo and the competence of individuals of the project group span from physics and chemistry to electronics design and process engineering. PAELLA was a dynamic project and Acreo invited companies active in the fields of electronics, processing, material chemistry and printing together with companies that would like to adopt the technology developed in the project.

The outcome from the project was a number of demonstrators showing possible future low-cost applications such as, for example, EC Displays and Electronic ID functions. These results have been the basis for continued projects within the organic electronics area.

PAELLA parties

Parties and Interested parties. The PAELLA project at ACREO institute was financed by its project partners. These could either be parties or interested parties. All project partners were allowed to get information about the technology generated within the PAELLA project. Parties also had the right of licensing the same.

  • AGFA
  • SCA
  • StoraEnso
  • Tetra Pak
  • ITAB