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Bendable Electronic Paper Shows Full Color Scale

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Chalmers' e-paper

Chalmers' e-paper contains gold, silver, and PET plastic. The layer that produces the colors is less than a micrometer thick.

Credit: Mats Tiborn / Chalmers

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have developed the basis for a new kind of electronic paper that is less than a micrometer thin, flexible, and produces all of the colors that a regular light-emitting diode (LED) display does, while requiring 10 times less energy than a Kindle tablet.

The researchers discovered that placing conductive polymers on nanostructures is a perfect combination for creating electronic displays as thin as paper. The polymers that cover the whole surface of the electronic paper lead the electric signals throughout the full display and create images in high resolution. The researchers say although the material is not yet ready for application, the underlying technology is in place. The team has tested and built a few pixels, which use the same red, green, and blue colors that together can create all of the colors in standard LED displays.

"We are working at a fundamental level but even so, the step to manufacturing a product out of it shouldn't be too far away," says Chalmers professor Andreas Dahlin. He thinks this breakthrough could reduce energy consumption and replace signs and information screens that are not currently electronic with more flexible displays.

From Chalmers University of Technology 
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