Electronic ink consists of an electronically coated optical film used in the manufacturing of high contrast, sunlight-readable, ultra-low-power electronic paper displays. The principal components of electronic ink are millions of tiny microcapsules, which are about the diameter of a human hair. In one incarnation, each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles suspended in a clear fluid. When a negative electric field is applied, the white particles move to the top of the microcapsule where they become visible to the user. This makes the surface appear white at that spot.
To form an E Ink electronic display, the ink is printed onto a sheet of plastic film that is laminated to a layer of circuitry. The circuitry forms a pattern of pixels that can then be controlled by a display driver. These microcapsules are suspended in a liquid carrier medium, allowing them to be printed using existing screen printing processes onto virtually any surface, including glass, plastic, fabric, and even paper. Ultimately, electronic ink will permit most any surface to become a display, bringing information out of the confines of traditional devices and into the world around us.
Contact: E Ink Corporation, Cambridge, MA, USA.
For more information, see Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment