electronic paper

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electronic paper

(1) A generic term for an extremely thin flexible display that can be rolled up. There are several technologies in the works, and this type of display is expected to become mainstream by 2015.

The Smartphone in a Pen
This OLED display screen unrolled out of a pen may seem far fetched, but such products are expected to be commercialized in a few years (see OLED). (Image courtesy of Universal Display Corporation, www.universaldisplay.com)

(2) A paper-thin display technology that uses charged black and white elements oriented toward the viewer when a charge is applied and which retain their formation without power. The first electronic paper was developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (www.parc.com) in the 1970s. It used a thin sheet of Xerox Gyricon plastic, containing millions of charged beads with black and white hemispheres. When the paper was fed through a "printer," a voltage pattern was applied, and the beads were oriented toward their black or white side, or half way for gray. Although the Gyricon Media Inc. subsidiary was created to develop the technology, it never worked well enough to become a product.

Another Approach
In the 1990s, another electronic paper technology was developed at MIT Media Labs that placed the black and white elements inside a microcapsule. E Ink Corporation was created in 1997 to further develop and market the method, and it succeeded (see E Ink).

The First Electronic Paper
Nick Sheridan, who invented the electronic paper at PARC, and Fereshteh Lesani show the first roll of paper produced by 3M. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center.)

As Sharp as Paper
In 2008, Epson demonstrated a super-high-resolution prototype display using E Ink technology. At 385 dpi, this 13.4" display provides an outstanding 3104 x 4128 pixel resolution. (Image courtesy of Seiko Epson Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The Henkel portfolio of electronic ink solutions includes fine-line conductive inks, thermoformable products, force sensing materials, PTC formulations for heating elements and transparent coatings, among others.
E Ink supplies electronic ink to its manufacturing partner Toppan Printing, which in turn processes the ink into a thin film called frontplane laminate.
In collaboration with E Ink, they laminated electronic ink to the plastic sheet, aligning the display pixels with the transistors.
To make the electronic ink easily compatible with the necessary electronics, E Ink scientists developed a new version of electronic ink that changes 10 times faster than the previous version, according to the company.
MIT researchers are working on a project they call "the last book," a futuristic vision of a book composed of electronic ink, or e-ink, which can be applied to the page within instead of by a press.
Orders from customers worldwide for our new line of electronic ink Kindles have exceeded our expectations," said Dave Limp, vice president, Amazon Kindle.
A senior official of E Ink Holdings said the company's electronic ink technology is innovative.
The new ink developed by University of Illinois researchers has quite a few advantages over more conventional electronic ink.
The Sony LIBRIe will use a Philips' display which utilizes E Ink's electronic ink technology and claims to give the reader a paper-like display with a contrast the same as newsprint.
The researchers constructed the paper by spreading films of pentacene over a plastic backing and using a form of electronic ink, developed in 1998 by a team of researchers from MIT.
The most valuable prize for printers and electronic ink makers will be the production of smart labels with a microprocessing capability of nearly 100 bits.
a developer and marketer of electronic ink technology, and Philips Components, a division of Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands, have announced that they will jointly develop high-resolution electronic ink displays for use in smart hand-held devices.

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