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Encyclopedia > Electronic paper
A prototype electronic paper display.

Electronic paper, also called e-paper, is a display technology designed to mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Unlike a conventional flat panel display, which uses a backlight to illuminate its pixels, electronic paper reflects light like ordinary paper and is capable of holding text and images indefinitely without drawing electricity, while allowing the image to be changed later. Unlike traditional displays, e-paper can be crumpled or bent like traditional paper. One important feature needed is that the pixels be image stable, or bistable, so that the state of each pixel can be maintained without a constant supply of power. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... An electronic paper display is a specialized type of electronic paper that combines the uses and advantages of a computer display and paper. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (875x948, 709 KB)picture of e-paper from Here. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (875x948, 709 KB)picture of e-paper from Here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into output device. ... For other uses, see Ink (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Paper (disambiguation). ... Flat panel displays encompass a growing number of technologies enabling video displays that are lighter and much thinner than traditional television and video displays using cathode ray tubes, usually less than 10 cm (4 inches) thick. ... Backlights are lights that are attached to LCD displays so that they can be seen at night. ... This article is about the picture element. ... Something that is bistable can be resting in two states. ...

Electronic paper was developed in order to overcome some of the limitations of computer monitors. For example, the backlighting of monitors is hard on the human eye[citation needed], whereas electronic paper reflects light just like normal paper. It is easier to read at an angle than flat screen monitors. It is lightweight, durable, and highly flexible compared to other display technologies, though it is not as flexible as paper. Backlighting refers to a technique used to make flat panel displays easier to read. ... A computer display monitor, usually called simply a monitor, is a piece of electrical equipment which displays viewable images generated by a computer without producing a permanent record. ...

Predicted future applications include e-paper books capable of storing digital versions of many books, with only one book displayed on the pages at any one time. Likewise with e-paper magazines. Electronic posters and similar advertisements in shops and stores have already been demonstrated.

Electronic paper should not be confused with digital paper. Digital paper, also known as interactive paper, is patterned paper used in conjunction with a digital pen to create handwritten digital documents. ...



Electronic paper was first developed in the 1970s by Nick Sheridon at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. The first electronic paper, called Gyricon, consisted of polyethylene spheres between 20 and 100 micrometres across. Each sphere is composed of negatively charged black plastic on one side and positively charged white plastic on the other (each bead is thus a dipole[1]). The spheres are embedded in a transparent silicone sheet, with each sphere suspended in a bubble of oil so that they can rotate freely. The polarity of the voltage applied to each pair of electrodes then determines whether the white or black side is face-up, thus giving the pixel a white or black appearance.[2] Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) (name pronounced ) is a global document management company, which manufactures and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies. ... Bold text // Headline text Link title This article is about the computer research center. ... Gyricon is a type of electronic paper developed at the Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). ... The Earths magnetic field, which is approximately a dipole. ...

In the 1990s another type of electronic paper was invented by Joseph Jacobson, who later co-founded the E Ink Corporation which formed a partnership with Philips Components two years later to develop and market the technology. In 2005, Philips sold the electronic paper business as well as its related patents to Prime View International. This used tiny microcapsules filled with electrically charged white particles suspended in a colored oil.[3] In early versions, the underlying circuitry controls whether the white particles were at the top of the capsule (so it looked white to the viewer) or at the bottom of the capsule (so the viewer saw the color of the oil). This was essentially a reintroduction of the well-known electrophoretic display technology, but the use of microcapsules allowed the display to be used on flexible plastic sheets instead of glass. Joseph Jacobson, a native and resident of Newton, Massachusetts, is a tenured professor and head of the Molecular Machines group at the Center for Bits and Atoms at the MIT Media Lab. ... E Ink Corporation is a privately held manufacturer of electrophoretic displays (EPDs), a kind of electronic paper. ... Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, founded and headquartered in the Netherlands. ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ... Mineral oil or liquid petrolatum is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. ... There are many kinds of circuit An electric circuit interconnects electrical elements. ... For specific types of electrophoresis (for example, the process of administering medicine, iontophoresis), see electrophoresis (disambiguation). ...

One early version of electronic paper consists of a sheet of very small transparent capsules, each about 40 micrometres across. Each capsule contains an oily solution containing black dye (the electronic ink), with numerous white titanium dioxide particles suspended within. The particles are slightly negatively charged, and each one is naturally white.[2] A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the diameter of a droplet of mist or fog. ... Flash point non-flammable Related Compounds Other cations Titanium(II) oxide Titanium(III) oxide Titanium(III,IV) oxide Zirconium dioxide Hafnium dioxide Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 Â°C, 100 kPa) Infobox disclaimer and references Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium... This box:      Electric charge is a fundamental conserved property of some subatomic particles, which determines their electromagnetic interaction. ...

The microcapsules are held in a layer of liquid polymer, sandwiched between two arrays of electrodes, the upper of which is made from indium tin oxide, a transparent conducting material. The two arrays are aligned so that the sheet is divided into pixels, which each pixel corresponding to a pair of electrodes situated either side of the sheet. The sheet is laminated with transparent plastic for protection, resulting in an overall thickness of 80 micrometres, or twice that of ordinary paper. For other uses, see Liquid (disambiguation). ... A polymer (from Greek: πολυ, polu, many; and μέρος, meros, part) is a substance composed of molecules with large molecular mass composed of repeating structural units, or monomers, connected by covalent chemical bonds. ... Indium tin oxide (ITO) is a mixture of indium(III) oxide (In2O3) and tin(IV) oxide (SnO2), typically 90% In2O3, 10% SnO2 by weight. ...

The network of electrodes is connected to display circuitry, which turns the electronic ink 'on' and 'off' at specific pixels by applying a voltage to specific pairs of electrodes. Applying a negative charge to the surface electrode repels the particles to the bottom of local capsules, forcing the black dye to the surface and giving the pixel a black appearance. Reversing the voltage has the opposite effect - the particles are forced from the surface, giving the pixel a white appearance. A more recent incarnation[4] of this concept requires only one layer of electrodes beneath the microcapsules. Image File history File links E-ink. ...

Other research efforts into e-paper have involved using organic transistors embedded into flexible substrates,[5][6] including attempts to build them into conventional paper.[7] An Organic Field-Effect Transistor (OFET) is a class of thin film transistors based on organic semiconductors. ...

Polychrome e-paper

Simple color e-paper[8] consists of a thin colored optical filter added to the monochrome technology described above. The array of pixels is divided into triads, typically consisting of the standard cyan, magenta and yellow, in the same way as CRT monitors (although using subtractive primary colors as opposed to additive primary colors). For commercial releases of e-paper in the forms of newspapers etc, it will most likely be in the 'CMYK' format, for clarity of writing. The display is then controlled like any other electronic color display. For other meanings see Triad (disambiguation). ... Cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). ...


Several companies are simultaneously developing electronic paper and ink. While the technologies used by each company provide many of the same features, each has its own distinct technological advantages. All electronic paper technologies face the following general challenges:

  • A method for encapsulation
  • An ink or active material to fill the encapsulation
  • Electronics to activate the ink

Electronic ink can be applied to both flexible and rigid materials. In the case of flexible displays, the base requires a thin, flexible material tough enough to withstand considerable wear, such as extremely thin plastic. The method of how the inks are encapsulated and then applied to the substrate is what distinguishes each company from each other. These processes are complex and are carefully guarded industry secrets. The manufacture of electronic paper promises to be less complicated and less costly than traditional LCD manufacture.

There are many approaches to electronic paper, with many companies developing technology in this area. Other technologies being applied to electronic paper include modifications of liquid crystal displays, electrochromic displays, and the electronic equivalent of an Etch A Sketch at Kyushu University. Advantages of electronic paper includes low power usage, flexibility and better readability than most displays. Electronic ink can be printed on any surface, including walls, billboards, product labels and T-shirts. The ink's flexibility would also make it possible to develop rollable displays for electronic devices. The ideal electronic paper product is a digital book that can typeset itself and could be read as if it were made of regular paper, yet programmed to download and display the text from any book. Another possible use is in the distribution of an electronic version of a daily paper. LCD redirects here. ... Electrochromic refers to materials characterised by colour change when voltage is applied. ... The classic red-and-white Etch-A-Sketch model Etch-A-Sketch is a toy invented in 1959 by Frenchman Arthur Granjean that was introduced commercially by the Ohio Art Company in 1960. ... A rollable display is a display device which can be rolled up into a scroll. ...

Commercial applications

The Motorola F3 uses an e-paper display instead of a conventional LCD display
The Motorola F3 uses an e-paper display instead of a conventional LCD display

Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ...

Education: digital schoolbooks

  • In January 2007, the Dutch specialist in e-Paper http://edupaper.nl started a pilot on a secondary school in Maastricht, using e-Paper as digital schoolbooks. To make it possible for schoolchildren not to have to lug many kilograms of books in their backpacks each day and to reduce prices (no printing, no logistics). On their website you can find more information about this project.


  • In November 2006 the iLiad of iRex was ready for the consumermarket. Consumers could read e-Books in PDF and HTML. Since July 2007 it is also possible to read Mobipocket PRC format which offers a lot of e-Books and e-News. But price was still a problem. With the introduction of the Cybook of the French company Bookeen prices have decreased for almost 50%.
  • In late 2007 Amazon began producing and marketing the Amazon Kindle; an e-book with an e-paper display.

title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ...


  • In September 2007, the French daily Les Echos announced the official launch of an electronic version of the paper on a subscription basis. Two offers are available, combining a one year subscription and a reading device. One interesting point of the offer is the choice of a light (176g) reading device (adapted for Les Echos by Ganaxa) or the iRex iLiad. Two different processing platforms are used to deliver readable information of the daily, one based on the newly developed GPP electronic ink platform from Ganaxa, and the other one developed internally by Les Echos.
  • In February 2006, the Flemish daily De Tijd distributed an electronic version of the paper to select subscribers in a limited marketing study, using a pre-release version of the iRex iLiad. This was the first recorded application of electronic ink to newspaper publishing.

Les Échos is a daily French economics newspaper. ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... The term Flemish language can designate: the official language of Flanders, which is Dutch with only very small variations; any of the regional dialects of Dutch spoken in Belgium; these are more different from Dutch than the official language of Flanders; one of these dialects, the West Flemish. ... De Tijd (English: The Times), formerly De Financieel-Economische Tijd (The Financial Economical Times), is a Belgian broadsheet newspaper that mainly focuses on business and economics. ...

Displays embedded in smart cards

The purpose of a one-time password (OTP) is to make it more difficult to gain unauthorized access to restricted resources, like a computer account. ... Online banking (or Internet banking) is a term used for performing transactions, payments etc. ... A wooden key fob made by aarikka of Finland A key fob is a decorative item many people often carry with their keys, on a ring or a chain, for ease of tactile identification, to provide a better grip, or to make a personal statement. ... Smart card used for health insurance in France. ...

Cell phone displays

  • Motorola's low-cost mobile phone, the Motorola F3, also uses a monochrome electronic paper screen.

The Motorola FONE F3 (frequently known as the MOTOFONE) is a candybar style mobile phone from Motorola, based on the SCPL design platform. ...

See also

Electronics Portal

Image File history File links Nuvola_apps_ksim. ... An electronic paper display is a specialized type of electronic paper that combines the uses and advantages of a computer display and paper. ... Amazon Kindle is an electronic book (e-book) service launched by Amazon. ... The Hanlin eReader v3 is an electronic book (e-book) reading device. ...

Further reading


  1. ^ Crowley, J. M.; Sheridon, N. K.; Romano, L. "Dipole moments of gyricon balls" Journal of Electrostatics 2002, 55, (3-4), 247.
  2. ^ a b New Scientist. Paper goes electric (1999)
  3. ^ Comiskey, B.; Albert, J. D.; Yoshizawa, H.; Jacobson, J. "An electrophoretic ink for all-printed reflective electronic displays" Nature 1998, 394, (6690), 253-255.
  4. ^ New Scientist. Roll the presses (2001)
  5. ^ Huitema, H. E. A.; Gelinck, G. H.; van der Putten, J. B. P. H.; Kuijk, K. E.; Hart, C. M.; Cantatore, E.; Herwig, P. T.; van Breemen, A. J. J. M.; de Leeuw, D. M. "Plastic transistors in active-matrix displays" Nature 2001, 414, (6864), 599.
  6. ^ Gelinck, G. H. et al. "Flexible active-matrix displays and shift registers based on solution-processed organic transistors" Nature Materials 2004, 3, (2), 106-110.
  7. ^ Andersson, P.; Nilsson, D.; Svensson, P. O.; Chen, M.; Malmström, A.; Remonen, T.; Kugler, T.; Berggren, M. "Active Matrix Displays Based on All-Organic Electrochemical Smart Pixels Printed on Paper" Adv Mater 2002, 14, (20), 1460-1464.
  8. ^ New Scientist. Read all about it

New Scientist is a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general English-speaking audience. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Fujitsu Develops World's First Film Substrate-based Bendable Color Electronic Paper featuring Image Memory Function : ... (853 words)
The new electronic paper features vivid color images that are unaffected even when the screen is bent, and features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image without the need for electricity.
The thin and flexible electronic paper uses very low power to change screen images, thereby making it ideal for displaying information or advertisements in public areas as a type of new electronic media that can be handled as easily as paper.
Electronic paper is especially convenient for use on curved surfaces, such as columns.
electronic paper: Information from Answers.com (1431 words)
Electronic paper, also sometimes called e-paper, electronic ink, or e-ink, is a display technology designed to mimic the appearance of regular ink on paper.
Unlike a conventional flat panel display, which uses a backlight to illuminate its pixels, electronic paper reflects light like ordinary paper and is capable of holding text and images indefinitely without drawing electricity or using processor power, while allowing the paper to be changed.
Another electronic paper device to be introduced in April of 2006 is the iLiad produced by iRex Technologies BV (a spinoff from Royal Philips Electronics).
  More results at FactBites »



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