Glowing Paper & Clear Film Bring Flexible Electronics Closer

Light-emitting paper and film have been created in China and Germany, signalling another advance of flexible electronics that will one day be worn on the sleeve or folded up and stuffed in a pocket.

At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, engineers have improved on the process of making a material called electroluminescent foil, which glows when current flows through it. They say they can now directly print electroluminescent layers onto other materials like paper and plastic. Their pad-printing process can even be used to layer the film onto convex, concave or other three-dimensional surfaces.

“Any type of three-dimensional object can be provided with electroluminescent coatings at low costs,” said Rainer Kling, a senior scientist at KIT’s Light Technology Institute.

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