E-paper display draws on child’s toy

Published in Chemistry World, 27 Apr 2015

For decades it was one of the most popular children’s toys: an erasable screen on which you can draw or write with a magnetic pen. Now the idea behind the Magna Doodle has been given a new lease of life by scientists in Japan, who have created an electronic-paper version that could be used as a large interactive display for classrooms.

Electronic or e-paper is a type of computer display that mimics the appearance of ordinary paper by reflecting, rather than emitting, light. The roots of the technology are old, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years with e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle’s display – a type of electrophoretic display – has a mixture of oppositely charged black and white particles sandwiched between transparent and opaque electrodes. A spatially varying voltage between the electrodes then forces some white particles to the transparent electrode and some black, creating an image. […]

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