Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Whiteboards of the future: New electronic paper could make inexpensive electronic displays

22.04.2015

A simple structure of bi-colored balls made of tough, inexpensive materials is well suited for large handwriting-enabled e-paper displays

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have revamped an old e-paper concept to make an inexpensive handwriting-enabled e-paper well suited to large displays like whiteboards. They describe the e-paper in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.


Handwriting with a magnet is demonstrated on a prototype of the new e-paper.

Credit: Yusuke Komazaki/ University of Tokyo

Traditional ink and paper is convenient for both reading and writing. In e-paper development the writing feature has generally lagged behind. Handwriting-enabled displays mainly show up in the inexpensive, but feature-limited realm of children's toys, and in the high-end realm of touch-screen e-readers and smart pens.

A team of Japanese researchers has now taken an e-paper technology originally developed in the 1970s and updated it to make a tough and inexpensive display that could be used like a whiteboard when a large writing space is required.

The display is made from bicolored microparticles about 0.1 millimeters in diameter. One hemisphere of each particle is black and carries a negative charge, while the other is white and carries a positive charge. The particles are sandwiched between two electrodes. By switching the direction of the voltage across the electrodes the background display can be switched between black and white.

Such "twisting ball" displays are not new, but the researchers were the first to integrate a magnetic field control component with the original electric control. In addition to carrying a negative charge, the black side of the microparticles also contains magnetic nanoparticles that make it possible to write on the screen.

A magnet pulled across the surface of the white display attracts the black side and the balls flip to face the magnet. In this way images and lines can be drawn on the display. A magnet with about the strength of a refrigerator magnet will work for this task.

Applying a voltage will immediately erase the drawings. In the absence of a voltage or magnetic field, the image is maintained without using any energy.

"Toughness, cost, size and color are the advantages of our e-paper display," said Yusuke Komazaki, a researcher in the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences at the University of Tokyo and lead author on the paper. The display is made from materials like acrylic polymer, silicone elastomer, and silicone oil that are relatively inexpensive and hold up well under UV light. Because of the e-paper's simple structure, large displays can be easily fabricated, Komazaki said. In addition, the researchers could easily change the color combinations by substituting different microparticle pigments, he said.

The researchers believe low-cost, lightweight, and energy-saving electronic whiteboards are a suitable application for the new e-paper. "Conventional electronic whiteboards are equipped with large LCDs or projectors and are very expensive, less visible in bright light conditions, heavy, and energy consuming," Komazaki said, so the new displays could have many competitive advantages.

"If we fabricate super-large displays, it might even be possible to replace traditional blackboards in classrooms," Komazaki said.

The team is working to improve the contrast of the display, which they believe can be achieved by increasing the amount of black and white pigment in the microparticles.

Eventually, the researchers believe their work could contribute to a world that is much less dependent on traditional paper.

"Writing and drawing is an indispensable feature of paper, so we believe that our handwriting-enabled e-paper is closer to real paper than conventional e-papers," said Komazaki. "Someday, handwriting-enabled e-paper may replace real paper."

###

The article, "Electrically and Magnetically Dual-driven Janus Particles for Handwriting-enabled E-paper," is authored by Y. Komazaki, H. Hirama and T. Torii. It will be published in the Journal of Applied Physics on April 21, 2015 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4917379). After that date, it can be accessed at: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jap/117/15/10.1063/1.4917379

The authors of this paper are affiliated with the University of Tokyo.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL

Journal of Applied Physics is an influential international journal publishing significant new experimental and theoretical results of applied physics research. See: http://jap.aip.org

Media Contact

Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
240-535-4954

 @jasonbardi

http://www.aip.org 

Jason Bardi | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top
20.04.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht New record on squeezing light to one atom: Atomic Lego guides light below one nanometer
20.04.2018 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>