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Principles of Functioning

"paper like" screens based on E-Ink technology

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Work on creating "electronic book" gadgets is held for a long time already. Several companies are involved in the production. The most visible success has been achieved by American firm E-Ink. It developed electronic-ink displays which are already used in devices by Sony, Fujitsu (Fujitsu-Siemens) and some other big corporations. At the first stage E-Ink screen production is the same with TFT screens. Here they use matrix similar to that in LCD panels. And then  the matrix is covered with a layer of microscopical capsules which contain viscous fluid and positively and negatively charged particles with black and white pigments. The functioning of such displays is based on a well known in physics effect of  electrophoresis - the property of charged particles to move in fluid from one electrode to another (see picture).  

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If an area under a capsule on TFT-matrix gets positive charge, negatively charged black particles are gravitated towards the charge and descend to the bottom of the capsule. Positively charged white particles, on the contrary, are repelled and emerge, i.e. they become visible. At this time the reader sees a white point on the screen.

If a negative charge is given under the capsule the situation repeats vice versa and we see a black point on the screen. Managing the degree of charge on TFT-matrix we can get  half-tints. The colour in this case will depend on the number of  transferred particles.

A very important peculiarity of electronic ink is that we can reach a very high quality of resolution due to changing the colour of every single particle of the pigment. As the particles diameter is measured in  microns screen resolution is actually determined by the resolution of the electronic matrix managing the state of capsules. That's why size and shape of capsules is not of great importance as well as colour continuity of each one, consequently production becomes cheaper. Besides ink optical state after the impulse applied is very stable. The formed image can be kept for months!

The merits of E-Ink technology are also comfortable reading (no flickering or letters shape change, independence on conditions of lighting and visual angle) and ultra low power consumption if image on the screen is static. This means  that power supply is taken only when the image is renewed, e.g. while turning a page.The power consumption of electronic book main  display is approximately 100 times lower than a mobile phone screen. More over E-Ink displays possess six times higher reflectance and they have two times more contrastihg range than LCD screens.


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Electronic Paper in Work


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