Electrowetting display fabricated on paper could someday be throwaway item

Cincinnati, OH--Paper can be used as the substrate for electrowetting (EW) displays, as demonstrated by University of Cincinnati researchers Andrew Steckl and Duk Young Kim.1 The demo opens up the possibility of low-cost, flexible video-rate "e-paper" that could even be inexpensive enough for single-use throwaway applications.

The displays of e-readers such as the electrophoretic-based Kindle (and the liquid-crystal-based iPad, if you consider the iPad an e-reader) rely on complex circuitry fabricated on a rigid glass substrate. In EW, an electric field is applied to opaque droplets within a display to switch pixels on and off; conventional EW technology is also fabricated on relatively rigid substrates. But inexpensive paper as an EW substrate, combined with mass-production, could launch entirely new applications (lottery tickets with built-in video displays, anyone)?

The researchers found that the performance of their electrowetting device on paper is equivalent to that of glass, which is the gold standard in the field. The devices had low hysteresis (2%) and fast 20 ms switching times.

"It is pretty exciting," said Steckl. "With the right paper, the right process and the right device fabrication technique, you can get results that are as good as you would get on glass, and our results are good enough for a video-style e-reader."

Steckl imagines a future device that is rollable and feels like paper yet delivers books, news, and even high-resolution color video in bright-light conditions.

Steckl's goal is attract commercial interest in the technology for next-stage development, which he expects will take three to five years to get to market.


REFERENCE:

1. Duk Young Kim and Andrew J. Steckl, Applied Materials & Interfaces, Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/am100757g.
 

 

Posted by John Wallace

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; it’s free!

 

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

Femtosecond Lasers – Getting the Photons to the Work Area

Ultrashort-pulse lasers, both picosecond and femtosecond, are now available from a large number of manufacturers, with new players entering the field at a ra...

Ray Optics Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

The Ray Optics Module can be used to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the ...

Multichannel Spectroscopy: Technology and Applications

This webcast, sponsored by Hamamatsu, highlights some of the photonic technology used in spectroscopy, and the resulting applications.

Handheld Spectrometers

Spectroscopy is a powerful and versatile tool that traditionally often required a large and bulky instrument. The combination of compact optics and modern pa...

Opportunities in the Mid-IR

The technology for exploiting the mid-IR is developing rapidly:  it includes quantum-cascade lasers and other sources, spectroscopic instruments of many...
White Papers

NIST Traceable Spectral Responsivity Calibration of Photodiode Detectors

All Newport optical detectors are recommended for a 12 month recalibration interval. Newport main...

Accurate LED Source Modeling Using TracePro

Modern optical modeling programs allow product design engineers to create, analyze, and optimize ...

Miniature Spectrometers for Narrowband Laser Characterization

In less than 60 years, lasers have transformed from the imagined “ray gun” of science fiction int...
Technical Digests

OPTICAL COATINGS: Evolving technology produces new benefits

The antireflection, high-reflection, and/or spectral characteristics provided by optical coatings...

REMOTE FIBER-OPTIC SENSING: Data in abundance from difficult environments

The use of optical fibers to measure strain, temperature, and other parameters at desired points ...

SCANNERS FOR MATERIALS PROCESSING: Serving demanding applications

Galvanometer-based scanners are an essential component in laser-based materials-processing system...

Click here to have your products listed in the Laser Focus World Buyers Guide.

PRESS RELEASES

SCHOTT and Applied Microarrays Establish Distribution Partnership for NEXTERION® Products

01/22/2013 SCHOTT and Applied Microarrays, Inc. have established a partnership for the distribution of SCHOT...

SCHOTT North America and Space Photonics, Inc. Sign Exclusive Licensing Agreement for Covert Communications Technology

01/22/2013 WASHINGTON, D.C.—October 18, 2012—Space Photonics Inc. and SCHOTT North America, Inc. today annou...
Social Activity
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Copyright © 2007-2015. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS