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Make Brighter, Full-Color Electronic Readers? Brilliant!

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An international collaboration that includes the University of Cincinnati has announced the development of Electrofluidic Display Technology (EFD), which they say is the first technology to electrically switch the appearance of pigments to provide visual brilliance equal to conventional printed media. EFD could potentially provide better than 85 percent white-state reflectance, a performance level required for consumers to accept reflective-display applications such as e-books, cell phones, and signs.

Cincinnati professor Jason Heikenfeld says EFD technology is significantly more advanced than other e-reader technology in terms of brightness, color saturation, and video speed. "The ultimate reflective display would simply place the best colorants used by the printing industry directly beneath the front viewing substrate of a display," Heikenfeld says. "In our EFD pixels, we are able to hide or reveal colored pigment in a manner that is optically superior to the techniques used in electrowetting, electrophoretic, and electrochromic displays." The optically active layer can be less than 15 microns thick, which makes the technology suitable for rollable displays.

Products created using EFD could include electronic windows and tunable color casings on portable electronics. "This takes the Amazon Kindle, for example, which is black and white, and could make it full color," Heikenfeld says.

From The University of Cincinnati
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