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Subscribe LetterAn electrophoretic ink for all-printed reflective electronic displays, , &   Nature

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It has for many years been an ambition of researchers in display media to create a flexible low-cost system that is the electronic analogue of paper. In this context, microparticle-based displays 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 have long intrigued researchers. Switchable contrast in such displays is achieved by the electromigration of highly scattering or absorbing microparticles (in the size range 0.1–5 μm), quite distinct from the molecular-scale properties that govern the behaviour of the more familiar liquid-crystal displays 6 . Microparticle-based displays possess intrinsic bistability, exhibit extremely low power d.c. field addressing and have demonstrated high contrast and reflectivity. These features, combined with a near-lambertian viewing characteristic, result in an ‘ink on paper’ look 7 . But such displays have to date suffered from short lifetimes and difficulty in manufacture. Here we report the synthesis of an electrophoretic ink based on the microencapsulation of an electrophoretic dispersion 8 . The use of a microencapsulated electrophoretic medium solves the lifetime issues and permits the fabrication of a bistable electronic display solely by means of printing. This system may satisfy the practical requirements of electronic paper.

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Additional access options: Log in Learn about institutional subscriptions Figure 1: Electrophoretic microcapsule. Figure 2: Electrophoretic ink. Figure 3: Properties of a 200-μm-thick film of electronic ink (‘white particles in dye’ type) with capsule diameter of 40 ± 10 μm. References1

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ADS CAS Article Google Scholar Download references Author informationAffiliationsMassachusetts Institute of Technology, The Media Laboratory, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, 02139-4307, Massachusetts, USABarrett Comiskey, J. D. Albert, Hidekazu Yoshizawa & Joseph JacobsonAuthorsSearch for Barrett Comiskey in: PubMed Google Scholar Search for J. D. Albert in: PubMed Google Scholar Search for Hidekazu Yoshizawa in: PubMed Google Scholar Search for Joseph Jacobson in: PubMed Google Scholar Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joseph Jacobson .

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Comiskey, B., Albert, J., Yoshizawa, H. et al. An electrophoretic ink for all-printed reflective electronic displays. Nature 394, 253–255 (1998) doi:10.1038/28349

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/28349

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