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Ricoh develops e-paper with 2.5x brightness, 4x colour

Posted: 30 May 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:electronic paper  display method  colour devices 

Ricoh Co. Ltd has developed electronic paper (e-paper) using the company's original display method to achieve a display of colour still images with about 2.5x brighter (in white reflectivity) and 4x wider colour reproduction range compared with presently commercialized colour e-paper technologies.

Colour image display

An example of colour image display using lamination electrochromic method.

Ricoh's e-paper differs from a conventional display unit in that it has no luminous source. It therefore requires no electric power, except for rewriting characters and images. According to market researcher Gartner Inc., 66 lakh monochrome devices for reading digital books using e-paper technology are sold annually and sales are predicted to exceed 1.1 crore readers in 2011.

Although colour devices are in demand, the methods proposed for colour e-paper have thus far not been able to solve the lack of brightness or colour reproducibility, even in theory. Thus, the colour e-paper market is expected to grow together with future technology development, expanding into all possible applications.

"Ricoh developed the world's first new organic electrochromic material producing three primary colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) while improving memory properties in March 2009. The company, at the same time, proposed a simple laminating element structure, forming three electrochromic layers between two substrates. This was made possible by stepping outside the box and beyond the original display methodology hitherto in vogue. This proved the feasibility of colour e-paper capable of achieving a bright display at low power consumption and low cost," said Shimpei Yamada, president of Yamada Chemical Co., Ltd.

Based on this result, Ricoh moved from the development phase of element technology to the development of a practical application of prototypes featuring high resolution e-paper. They achieved bright images with high colour image reproducibility. Ricoh is set to accelerate the development towards practical applications by improving reliability/repetition durability (guaranteeing tens of thousands of rewrites) and larger screen size.

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