Scientific project

ULiège is coordinating the PECALBEL project, which aims to develop an intelligent and innovative labelling system.



Since the beginning of September, the GREEnMat laboratory (ULiège) is involved as coordinator of the M-ERA.Net PECLABEL project entitled “Plasmonic ElectroChromic Materials for Dual-Band VIS-NIR Smart LABELling”. The project gathers six other partners from three other countries : CNRS - ICMCB (France), Leitat (Spain), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. (Finland), Color Sensing (Spain), Optitune (Finland) and NordicID (Finland).

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ovel electronic components and devices need to constantly foster a high level of functionality and performance; they also have to be designed in a way that lowers material and energy consumption throughout the life-cycle and value chain, and facilitates recycling and waste management. This is particularly true for labelling devices, increasingly involved in applications such as intelligent packaging, environmental monitoring and disposable diagnostics.

The PECLABEL project will build upon a recently emerged smart labelling technology based on electrochromic materials, bearing a high scientific and economic potential for processing highly efficient optically-commutable display devices.

It will bring forward environment-friendly inks of metal-oxide-based plasmonic nanostructures for designing dual-band, VIS-NIR spectrally-selective surfaces and devices, standing as a new generation of robust, stable, performant and durable energy-saving electrochromic labelling systems.

The project targets to develop devices that will allow not only autonomous but also decarbonated production of electricity, thus ensuring energy independence for users.

Figure EN

PECLABEL project methodology(a) Plasmonic electrochromic nanostructures will be chemically synthesized and characterized; (b) Materials formulations will then be implemented as printable, eco-conceived, low-toxic inks for being processed as functional thin films onto flexible substrates (including bio-based candidates); (c) Such novel metal oxide inks will further be printed as workable electrochromic labelling devices, notably as color tunable QR codes; (d) This technology will be further integrated by R2R printing processes in intelligent packaging demonstrators.

 

The consortium

GREEnMat

GREEnMat - a chemistry research laboratory from the University of Liege - specialises in the development and characterization of inorganic and/or hybrid materials in the form of powders, bulk materials or coatings for applications related to energy (new generation solar cells, Li/Na/K/... ion batteries, electrochromic materials...), environment (recycling of silicon-based PV cells, photocatalytic oxides for water/air treatment...) and health (excipients for dry powder inhalers, osseous and dental implants...) applications.

GREEnMat will be in charge of the project's global coordination and the development of dual-band VIS-NIR plasmonic electrochromic nanostructures.

ICMCB

The laboratory “Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux” (ICMCB) has strong expertise in solid-state chemistry, materials science and chemical processing. It uses this know-how to develop new materials and new concepts for materials synthesis, shaping and recycling, covering the application fields of energy, environment, health, electronics and photonics.

ICMCB will be in charge of the processing and characterization of plasmonic electrochromic coatings on flexible substrates, as well as of the definition of electrolyte and counter-electrode layers.

 

Leitat

Leitat is one of the reference entities at state and European level in technology management, with experts in applied research, technical services and management of technological and innovation initiatives. Leitat provides social, industrial, economic and sustainable value, offering comprehensive solutions in multiple sectors and areas: development of new materials, eco-sustainable production, occupational health prevention systems, revaluation of waste and use of natural resources, interconnectivity and digitization of industry, green energy and maximization of energy efficiency.

Leitat will be in charge of the development of stable UV-curable electrolytes, design and fabrication of PECLABEL smart labelling devices and the extensive characterization of the devices.

VTT

VTT is one of Europe’s leading research institutions with personnel of ca. 2000, and owned by the Finnish state. VTT has developed printed functional solutions for over 20 years with world-class materials, processing, and integration expertise. VTT possesses a unique R2R pilot manufacturing environment for Printed Intelligence processes enabling development and manufacturing of demonstrators and prototypes on up to industrial scale.

VTT’s Sensing Solutions research area will design, develop and integrate the smart label demonstrator based on R2R compatible manufacturing technologies, such as printing.

ColorSensing

ColorSensing, Spin-off from University of Barcelona, arises as an innovative deep-tech business developing a range of applications such as digitization of color-changing sensors, digital image standardization or printed chemical-sensing technologies.

ColorSensing will be in charge of the development of a colorimetric model to automatically transform the color of the developed materials into quantitative data.

Optitune Oy

Optitune Oy has developed ultra-thin nanocoatings for metal, glass and plastic surfaces based on its proprietary polysiloxane technology. Optitune chemists and engineers are a determined team, intent on pushing the boundaries of possibility in terms of light transmission, surface management, and durability. Optitune’s patent-protected product portfolio includes flexible plastic hard coats, metal and glass coatings, light management, and optoelectronics materials. The nano-engineered optical coatings are developed and produced at Optitune’s facility in Oulu, Finland. Optitune’s sales team is located in Asia and Europe.

Optitune will be in charge of developing coating materials and processes to improve efficiency and stabilize device performance and lifetime.

NordicId 

Founded in Finland in 1986, NordicId has been Europe’s leading provider for item tracking and tracing solutions for over 30 years, serving customers worldwide. Since 2021, it has been a part of BRADY Corporation.

NordicID will offer devices and software platform to collect data, from RFID/NFC based smart labels.

Funding agencies

The project was selected in the Joint Transnational Call 2022 of M-ERA.NET 3, which is an EU-funded network of about 49 funding organisations (Horizon 2020 grant agreement No 958174).

The project is funded by the :

  • Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS, Belgium, under Grant n°R8002.23,
  • Agence Nationale de la Recherche – ANR, France, under Grant n°ANR-23-MER3-004-01,
  • Agencia Estatal Investigación - AEI, Spain, under Grant n°PCI2023-143366 funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and, the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR,
  • Business Finland, Finland, under grants n°1956/31/2023 & 2888/31/2023.

You contact at ULiège

Pierre Colson

GREENMAT

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