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E Ink Displays

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The ideal electronic book includes characteristics of prints and displays; the legibility and portability of print with the variability and dynamics of electronic displays. An interesting question is to ask whether the fundamental technology will come from the display world (SID) or the image world (IS&T). The first-out-of-the-block candidates come from the display world, particularly liquid crystal technologies. The main effort has been to make LCD displays as thin, light, durable, and low power as possible.

Consider the problem from another direction. Print technologies are wonderfully legible, light, durable, and low power, but what can be done to make the content variable? A number of ideas have been proposed. For instance, consider the possibility of moving a xerographic image in and out of view: say with rotating or electrophoretic toner particles! Consider the possibility of electrochromic technologies where the “printed image” is switchable by oxidation or reduction of dyes.

This talk describes the work at E Ink Corporation where materials similar to xerographic liquid toners and electrophoretic displays are combined with polymeric encapsulation to give devices with the optical qualities of prints as well as the addressability of electronic displays. The excellent optical properties arise from the scattering and absorptive properties of pigments and the variable content arises from the ability to move the pigments into and out of view.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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