The objective is to develop new technique which can be used for low cost, radio frequency (RF) sensing. The main target of the project is temperature sensing and logging for chilled, frozen and fresh food. The technology comprises a printed sensor, printed power supplier (batteries or pseudo-capacitors), and printed RFID antenna coupled with low cost chips. The project also includes development of suitable polymer substrates with appropriate properties for high speed/high precision printing. Sensors, energy storage devices and antenna will be developed by gravure printing in order to ensure scalability in packaging industries. The electronics necessary for operation are an integral part of the project. The project’s first step will be the study of different materials for printed antennas, energy storage devices and temperaturelematic monitoring devices. Depending on the type of sensor, different types of materials may be used including organic and inorganic semiconductors with convenient Seebeck coefficient or electrical resistivity. Energy supply in the smart system will be provided by printed components composed of electrodes based on carbon and metallic materials as well as electrolytes based on conductive polymers. Antennas will be prepared with conventional conductive inks with thermal and/or innovative chemical sintering. During this project, all the materials will be selected for their intrinsic properties and their ability to be formulated as gravure inks. All suitable materials will be formulated in inks for gravure printing, one of the most relevant printing technologies in food packaging sector. Design of the several components will be developed initially using a state-of-the-art laboratory technique and in a second stage by gravure process. This will ensure transferability at industrial levels. The smart systems for monitoring the temperature of fresh or frozen food will be achieved using specially designed polymer films which will have the properties necessary for high quality impression, mechanical resistance as well as suitable properties for high volume, low cost packaging. Technology demonstrators will be achieved at the end of the project for evaluating both technological and economical viability of the device as well as a business model for industrial transfer.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Zettlex Printed Technologies Limited, CAMBRIDGE £252,025 £ 126,013


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