Electronic paper has changed the way many people consume written information: E-readers like Amazon’s Kindle sport light-reflecting screens with long battery life that are easy on the eye. But so far, attempts to market a color e-reader have been disappointing. Ectaco’s Jetbook Color line of devices, for example, was widely panned for its dark screen and muddy hues.
Now, researchers think they may have a solution to the pervasive problem of color on e-paper — a new three-layer nanostructure material that is flexible, colorful, and low-energy.
“There are a few other technologies that can achieve at least some of these three properties, but our method is clearly unique in that it contains metallic nanostructures,” says Andreas Dahlin, a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at the Chalmers Univ. of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Today’s electrophoretic ink and paper technology employs micro-capsules filled with white and black pigments. The pigments are charged, and thus can be manipulated by applying a voltage to the capsules.
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