amma Dynamics e-paper promises speed, brightness and low-cos

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Old 15-Jan-2011
amma Dynamics e-paper promises speed, brightness and low-cos

E Ink is what has made devices like the Kindle e-reader possible, and with the Kindle 3 we see the best version yet of that electronic paper. But E Ink isnít the only company developing e-paper, and a new startup may be about to blow it out the water with its own, superior solution.
Gamma Dynamics has been working with the University of Cincinnati on its own electuidic display. It can hold an image without need of power, but has a white reflectance of >70% (paper is 80%, E Ink around 40%) and has video-speed operation capabilities (rated at 20ms).
The technology has been known about for several years, but manufacturing it was difficult due to not using widely available techniques and facilities. Working with the Novel Devices Laboratory at Cincinnati and Dupont and Sun Chemical, Gamma has found a way to manufacture the e-paper using techniques similar to those used for printed electronics meaning itís cheap to do.
The Gamma e-paper is created by laminating and optically imaging a piece of reflective film sheet to form very fine holes and spacers. Two fluids, an oil and a pigment, sit either side of the reflective film which is then sandwiched with the reflective sheet between two substrates. when a voltage is applied the pigment is forced through the sheet and becomes visible. Removing the voltage sees the pigment stay in place retaining whatever image or lettering it formed.

So far the technology works effectively with grayscale, but color is also being experimented with. When perfected we could see Gamma release video-capable e-paper that is of a higher quality than E Inkís solution for static images and text, but also of a high enough quality to replace LCD in some devices.
Jason Heikenfeld, UC associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, summed up what this new e-paper actually means:
Conventional wisdom says you canít have it all with electronic devices: speed, brightness and low-cost manufacturing. Thatís going to change with the introduction of this new discovery into the market. This idea has been in the works for a while, but we did not start really pushing the project until we thought we could make it manufacturable.

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