Tech

Scientists Discover E-paper Technology

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

A scientific breakthrough that uses paper to host complex electronics seems set to pave the way for disposable e-readers made from paper. The discovery came about as a result of recent research by scientists who have developed a way of using paper as a flexible host material for electrowetting (a process of applying an electric field to coloured droplets within a display to reveal content such as type, photographs and video) devices. Consequently, most standard e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle, Sony e-reader that use complex circuitry printed over a rigid glass substrate, might soon be due for an unprecedented upgrade.

According to the researchers, ‘one of the main goals of e-paper is to replicate the look and feel of actual ink on paper’. So far, they have found similarities between the performance of electrowetting devices on glass and paper meaning that there is a high chance of success with the right paper, process and device fabrication technique.

The study, recently published in the Applied Materials and Interfaces journal was conducted in the University of Cincinatti. Overall, it demonstrates that paper could be used as an electrowetting host material for the first time. Meanwhile, the researchers are hoping to attract commercial interest in the technology for next-stage development.

Talking Point

Can you imagine reading a newspaper that changes in real-time, with text, images and  moving video, similar to those in the Harry Potter movie?

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6 Comments

  1. E-paper has the potential to be more comfortable to read than conventional displays.[1] This is due to the stable image, which does not need to be refreshed constantly, the wider viewing angle, and the fact that it reflects ambient light rather than emitting its own light.

  2. I can definitely imagine reading a newspaper that changes in real-time. I mean, take a look at the kindle. The kindle is a perfect example of the advancements in the way we read and the way information is presented to us. It would be naive to believe that the technology advancements in reading will end there. I predict this technology will be everywhere in the next few years.

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