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Posted: Nov 19, 2013
Environmentally aware smart paper
(Nanowerk News) An EU-funded project is developing a technology platform to add new functionalities to paper. This will open up new market opportunities in the European paper, packaging and security label industries.
Recent advances in a number of technology fields have enabled the incorporation of information into paper products that can interact with the user. These fields include nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technologies (ICT), and sensor technology.
Using high-end and low-cost printing techniques to manufacture components, the ROPAS project's aim is to develop a wireless sensor device on a paper surface. The project is developing a technological platform that consists of an electronic circuit in which sensors, batteries and communication devices are integrated on paper using printing techniques.
The technologies being developed in the project will be used to create various new products based on the monitoring of environmental changes and communication of the observations. For example, such products could include incorporating a sensor in a carton of milk that will be able to send a text message warning that the milk is going sour.
In the initial stage, the ROPAS demonstrators were prototyped according to conventional printed circuit boards and electronics. They were constructed to show the functionality and to develop the ICT protocols.
Three applications will be used by the ROPAS project to demonstrate the new technologies: security tag, smart label and smart envelope. Work is continuing in the project to develop the technologies required to produce new high-value–added products that meet consumer needs and have a high market potential.