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E-paper also known as electronic paper or electronic ink display.
Unlike conventional backlit flat panel displays which emit light:
E-paper displays reflect light like ordinary paper
Theoretically making it more comfortable to read
And giving the surface a wider viewing angle compared to conventional
Extremely light and flexible.

Construction of E-paper
It has two different parts.
Front plane.
Back plane.
The front plane consist of E-ink.
The back plane consist of electronic circuits.
Back plane is made up of organic thin film transistor arrays which provide
voltage needed by the E-Paper.
To form an E-ink electronic display the ink is printed onto a plastic film that is
laminated to a layer of circuitry.

Front plane

The front plane consist of E-ink.

E-ink is made up of millions of tiny microcapsules.
Microcapsules have diameter of the order of 100 microns.
Each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively
charged black particles suspended in a clear fluid .

When a positive or negative electric field is applied,

corresponding particles move to the top of the microcapsule
where they become visible to the viewer. This makes the surface

Back Plane Layout

Technologies proposed so far

Electrophoretic display
Electrofluidic display
Interferometric modulator (Mirasol)

It was the first electronic paper and was developed in 1970s.
Consists of polyethylene spheres having diameter between 75-106
Each sphere is ajanus particlecomposed of negatively charged
black plastic on one side and positively charged white plastic on the
other (each bead is thus adipole).
These spheres are embedded in transparent silicone made sheet,
with each sphere suspended in a bubble of oil so that they can rotate
The polarity of the voltage applied to each pair of electrodes then
determines whether the white or black side is face-up, thus giving the
pixel a white or black appearance.

The spheres of the Gyricon display are

trapped in the oil-filled cavities of an
elastomer. Positioning them with a positive or
negative voltage puts them into the
reflecting [left] or light-absorbing [right] black
state. Prototypes have been fabricated at

Gyricon E-Paper by Xerox

Electrophoretic Display
The electronic ink display from E Ink
is based on encapsulated
--microcapsules containing many tiny
white pigment chips, or particles, that
are suspended in a blue-black liquid

Applying an electric field moves the

particles about; the microcapsules
can be switched into the reflecting
[left] or absorbing [right] state by
applying a positive or negative
voltage across the indium-tin oxide
(ITO) electrodes.

Electrophoretic Display
Any kind of electrophoretic display relies on electrostatic migration of
light-scattering particles in a dyed colloidal suspension.
When a positive voltage is applied, the particles migrate electrostatically
toward the electrode on the viewer side.
If white light-scattering particles are used, a near-Lambertian reflection can be
When a negative voltage is applied, the particles move to the electrode on
the side away from the viewer and become hidden behind the dye; the viewer
sees the color of the dye.
Once migration occurs under either polarity and the voltage is removed, the
white particles stay in place, creating a bistable memory device.

Electrowetting Display
Based on the phenomenon of Electrowetting
effect- controlling the shape of a confined
water/oil interface by an applied voltage.
With no voltage applied, the (coloured) oil
forms a flat film between the water and a
hydrophobic (water-repellent) insulating
coating of an electrode, resulting in a
coloured pixel.
When a voltage is applied between the
electrode and the water, the interfacial tension
between the water and the coating changes.
As a result the stacked state is no longer
stable, causing the water to move the oil
This results in a partly transparent pixel, or, if
a reflective white surface is used under the
switchable element, a white pixel.

Electrofluidic Displays
Electrofluidic displays are a variation of an electrowetting display.
Electrofluidic displays place an aqueous pigment dispersion inside a tiny
The reservoir comprises <5-10% of the viewable pixel area and therefore
the pigment is substantially hidden from view.
Voltage is used to electromechanically pull the pigment out of the
reservoir and spread it as a film directly behind the viewing substrate.
As a result, the display takes on color and brightness similar to that of
conventional pigments printed on paper.

Electrofluidic Display

Interferometric modulator (Mirasol)

Technology used in electronic visual displays that can
create various colors via interference of reflected light.
The color is selected with an electrically switched light
modulator comprising a microscopic cavity that is
switched on and off using driver integrated circuits
similar to those used to address liquid crystal displays

Mirasol Display

Comparison Of E-paper & LCD

Electronic Ink

Liquid Crystal

Wide viewing angle

Best image only from one

Can be difficult to see in
Required power to hold images

Readable in sunlight
Holds image without power
Plastic or glass
Light Weight
Thin (~1 mm)

Glass only
Power supply and glass make
LCDs relatively heavy
Thick (~7 mm)

Power consumption
This analysis done for E ink triton.
Mechanical / Dimensional for 6" Display:

Electrical specifications:
Supply Voltage:

Power Consumption:

2.73.3 V DC
Active update peak: 1800
Active update typical: 750

Merits of E-paper
Paper-like readability
Persistent without power, drawing current only when they change, which means low power consumption
Batteries can be smaller and last longer.
Display module is thinner, lighter weight, and more robust than conventional LCD's.
Highly flexible and it is able to be twisted or bended into different curvatures.
The electronic paper can be applied to different shapes of products, without being limited to being bonded to flat
display panels.
They are completely reflective requiring no backlight.
They are inherently bi-stable for extended periods of time.

Demerits of E-paper
Electronic paper technologies have a very low refresh
rate compared to other low-power display technologies,
such as LCD.
An example of this limit is that a document cannot be
smoothly zoomed without either extreme blurring during
the transition or a very slow zoom.
A shadow of an image may be visible after refreshing
parts of the screen. Such shadows are termed "ghost
images", and the effect is termed "ghosting.
Because of ghosting the entire screen white and black

An e-ink screen showing the "ghost" of a prior image An e-paper display

on a watch refreshes
to remove ghosts.

e-Book reader
eg: Amazon kindle.

Electronic Shelf Label

In a large department store or supermarket, e-paper can be
used for labelling the shelves and price tagging.

Smart Card Display

Some credit cards contain a smart card to store
information such as accumulated credit and money
expenses etc.

Mobile phones
Time Table at Stations

Electronic Billboards
Status displays
Digital Photo Frames

Electronic ink is not intended to diminish or do away with traditional displays.
Instead electronic ink will initially co-exist with traditional paper and other
display technologies.
In the long run, electronic ink may have a multibillion-dollar impact on the
publishing industry.
Ultimately electronic ink will permit almost any surface to become a display,
bringing information out of the confines of traditional devices and into the
world around us.

Flexible and Roll-able Displays/Electronic Paper A Brief Technology Overview Rong-Chang (R.C.) Liang
Paper Electronics and Electronic Paper
by Magnus Berggren*'**, Thomas Kugler*'**, Tommi Remonen*, David
Nilsson**,Miaoxiang Chen**, Petronella
Norberg"*The Research Institute ACRE0 AB, Bredgatan 34, SE-602 21
Norrkoping, Sweden **Organic Electronics Group,
Campus Norrkoping, SE-601 74, Sweden
E-paper: Clarifying future R&D needs by a fundamental understanding of the maximum performance of current technologies
Author(s): Heikenfeld, J.
Novel Devices Lab., Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
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