Once the concept of an electronic paper is introduced, flipping through books, newspapers, and magazines may become obsolete.

E-paper is a flexible plastic display material similar to a paper but can store electronic images. The paper is less than a millimeter thick, which uses real paper as underlying layer. To print functional circuits, logic, and display elements, it relies on micro-encapsulation chemistry and desktop printing technologies. Micro-encapsulation is a process where tiny parcels of a solid active ingredient are packaged within a second material to shield active the active ingredient from the surrounding environment.

This prototype includes the development of interconnecting circuits and multi-layer logic material. It enables the display screens to show high-quality contrast with only a few hundred pixels, the resolution of the computer screen.

“The aim of e-paper is to show electronic text on thin, elastic sheets that look and feel like paper,” John Rogers from the Bell Labs, a top electronic company in the United States.

The process is possible by applying a voltage pattern consisting of electrical charges on a tiny two-toned particle contained in a separate oil-filled compartment. Images or text are created when these particles rotate, and erased when a different voltage pattern is applied.

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Lucent Technologies/E-Ink have already introduced developments in their e-papers. PARC released Gyricon, which can be used thousands of times, aside from being electronically writeable and erasable. Lucent’s paper presents a low-cost printing process using high-resolution rubber stamps.

Researchers remain keen on this project, and with the support of major industries for its own growth, publishing companies are in for a major blow in this new era of saving for space. John Ferdinand T. Buen

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Architecture professor; 48

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