27 November 2007
Another enabling technology for e-paper is called E-Ink. It was first developed byJoseph Jacobson an associate professor at M.I.T. Media Lab. Joseph and his students with Russell J. Wilcox who graduated from Harvard Business School found E-Ink Corporation in 1997.

E-Ink contains millions of tiny capsules with diameter as a human hair, each of which is filled with fluid with positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles. When positive electric field is applied, black particles move to the top of the capsules thus displaying image in black color. Vise versa, when negative electric field is applied, white color is shown.

E-Ink is bistable. Bistable means that when ink moves to the surface of the capsules, it can stay there without any power input. This implies that electrical power is needed only to change from black to white or white to black color. Therefore, energy power required is minimal. However, this technology’s downfall is its slow refreshing time.

Now, with the collaboration between E-Ink and colar filter producer Toppan Printing in Japan, multicolor e-paper can become possible in the near future. So far, E-Ink technology has been used in several E-book devices , such as the Sony Reader, the iLiad, the Cybook Gen3, and Amazon Kindle.

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This is the second post of our "How e-paper works?" series. Other posts are available at:

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