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Case Number 110078 - Disposable E-reader

Description:  Dr. Steckl and his lab created a platform for an improved electrowetting-based display device that is rollable, has the look and feel of paper yet has the potential to deliver books, news and even video in bright-light conditions. This device uses specialty paper as the substrate and adds several layers of transparent materials: electrically conducting and insulating layers, a hydrophobic layer and water. Individual pixels are defined by a hydrophilic grid that confines small amounts of opaque colored oil. When an electric field is applied across the pixel, colored oil is displaced by water, revealing the paper substrate. Pixel switching speed on paper substrates has been demonstrated to be nearly the same as that on conventional glass substrates.

Paper is made of cellulose (the most common biopolymer on earth) from wood pulp, cotton, etc. By comparison to other inorganic or synthetic organic materials, paper is inexpensive and a “green” material: bio-degradable and bio-renewable. Furthermore, paper processing on large scale roll-to-roll equipment is well established, leading to potential significant cost savings in the display manufacturing process.
The invention has the following advantages:
  1. Flexible, low-cost (disposable) e-reader
  2. Has look-and-feel of ink on paper
  3. Delivers video operation in bright-light conditions
  4. Green tech – biodegradable and biorenewable


There is a PCT Application pending; Serial Number PCT/US11/42570.

For more information please also see:
  • the article in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
    Journal Cover
  • this summary.

    For more information please contact Geoffrey Pinski at 513-558-5696 or pinskig@ucmail.uc.edu



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