University of Cincinnati professor of electrical engineering, Andrew Steckl has shown that a paper based display technology is possible. If Steckl can perfect it, expect low cost disposable eReaders to hit the shelves.
Call this an ironic twist but eReaders have been touted as a way to do away with book waste. Rather than tossing old paperbacks into the local landfill you can just delete books from your eReader – no muss, no fuss, no trash.
“One of the main goals of e-paper is to replicate the look and feel of actual ink on paper,” the researchers stated in [The American Chemical Society] (ACS) article. “We have, therefore, investigated the use of paper as the perfect substrate for EW devices to accomplish e-paper on paper.”Now Professor Steckl and his graduate student Duk Young Kim have demonstrated that paper can be used as the base material for Electrowetting technology.
Electrowetting (EW) involves applying an electric field to colored droplets within a display in order to reveal content such as type, photographs and video. Importantly, they found that the performance of the electrowetting device on paper is equivalent to that of glass, which is the gold standard in the fieldThe Kindle and iPad use glass for a base material with “complex electric circuitry” printed on top. The Kindle, Nook and several other eReaders use what is called “E-Ink” technology that mimics the look of print on paper. Many people scoff at eReaders because they prefer not just the look but also the feel of paper books for reading. Now they may be able to have both.