Kindle and other Ebook readers generally use glare-free screens and a electronic ink display, or electronic paper, that only offers visuals in black and white, limiting their use to some extent. Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden are working on a new type of paper-thin screen that offers an optimal colour display and minimises energy consumption by using ambient light. Being energy-intensive also makes these screens commercially viable.
Usually, digital screens on Ebook readers use a backlight to illuminate the text or images. This works fine indoors but it puts a lot of stress on the eyes to adjust when viewed under bright sunlight. The researchers, who have published their study in the journal Nano Letters, said they have used tungsten trioxide as the core material in their technology because of the material’s ability to regulate how light is absorbed and reflected. Also, these reflective screens are as thin as paper and thus are sometimes called “electronic paper.”
The researchers have used a previously researched, porous and nanostructured material, containing tungsten trioxide, gold, and platinum, to try a new tactic for colour optimisation. They inverted the design in a way to allow colours to appear much more accurately on the screen, stated a report in Cision.
These reflective screens have other advantages too: They are less tiring for the eyes compared to looking at a regular screen.
“Our main goal when developing these reflective screens, or ‘electronic paper’ as it is sometimes termed, is to find sustainable, energy-saving solutions,” explains research leader Andreas Dahlin, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.