New Technology Converts Ink Into Sound!

The printed paper when connected to an audio amplifier give us a considerably loud sound. 

We have seen flexible electronic circuits from Xerox and also flexible organic flash memory from Tokyo University in the past. But it seems that a German researcher could be the first to commercialise electronics printed on a sheet of paper. Professor Hübler, who runs a research and development group at the Chemnitz University (pmTUC) in Germany, has come up with a new technology that converts ink into sound. The newly developed ink makes it possible to produce flat speakers or printed solar cells. 

The printed paper loudspeaker is connected to an audio amplifier like a conventional loudspeaker. "Frequency response and hence sound quality are very good and the paper is surprisingly loud. Just the bass of the paper-based loudspeaker is a bit weak,” explains Dr Georg Schmidt, senior researcher at pmTUC. The thin loudspeakers, which are printed in the laboratories of pmTUC, contain several layers of a conductive organic polymer and a piezoactive layer. 

According to project assistant Maxi Bellmann, the loudspeakers can be produced in a very cheap way as mass printing methods are used. It is possible to print coloured messages on unused space available at the bottom side of the paper loudspeaker.

New applications
The paper loudspeakers could be integrated into common print products. They also look promising for the advertising segment. "In addition, sound wallpapers and purely technical applications, e.g., distance sensors, are possible, because the papers are also active in the ultrasound range,” says Hübler and adds: "As printing allows for different formats and forms, there is the possibility to influence the generated sound waves.”

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