Printing of Light Emitters on Textile: POLEOT

Thanks to POLEOT technology, EL-light can be applied in an efficient and innovative way on textiles.

Electroluminescent (EL) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) are light sources that are efficient, thin, lightweight and environmentally-friendly. The CORNET Project POLEOT (Printing of Light Emitters on Textile) aims to develop a luminescence technology for producing innovative textiles with light-emitting properties providing a wide range of new textile applications. POLEOT will introduce several innovations at different levels, from the roll-to-roll production of EL/OLED and the achievement of high flexibility in combination with mechanical strength to the development of large-size lamps.

Technological and scientific challenges meet innovative and ambitious partnership 

At the heart of these light-emitting textiles are new printable luminescent inks (OLED/EL). The project includes the development of printable light-emitting inks for screen and digital ink-jet techniques in a full range that provides electroluminescent functionalities as well as conductive structures for a new generation of textiles in general, and safety and signage in particular. Moreover, requested and adapted pre- and after-treatment (carbon nanotube coating and barrier coatings against oxygen, respectively) techniques will be developed to optimise the light output and lifetime during daily usage.

POLEOT technology finds its application in several areas such as safety clothing, vehicle interiors and lampshades.

Business potential e.g. in interior lighting and signage

SMEs and companies participating in the project have access to a knowledge and technology platform on the printing of light-emitting layers, the specific textile treatments and techniques to combine both. Together with the User Committee, several demonstrations have been developed to show the advantages of this technique over the existing light-emitting systems in safety clothing, car interiors or publicity banners. Other examples for the application of textile-based EL/OLED would be luminescent wallpapers or large-area architectural usage.


Project duration: 2013 to 2015

Prof. Dr. Wim Deferme, email:, tel.: +32(0)11 26 88 74, Hasselt University

Participants from Flanders

UHasselt – Hasselt University – Coordinating Association

IMEC – Interuniversity Micro‐Electronics Center – Research Organisation

TO2C – University College Gent – Research Organisation

Centexbel – Technisch en Wetenschappelijk Centrum voor de Belgische Textielnijverheid – Association

Participants from Germany

FKT – Forschungskuratorium Textil e.V. – Association

ITA – Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen – Research Organisation

IPF – Institute for Plasmaresearch of the University of Stuttgart – Research Organisation


Photos: © Universiteit Hasselt (UHasselt), Belgium