Imagine sitting out in sun, reading a digital screen as thin as paper, but seeing an equivalent image quality as if you were indoors. because of research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, it could soon be a reality. a latest sort of reflective screen—sometimes described as electronic paper offers optimal color display, while using ambient light to keep-energy’ consumption to-minimum.
Traditional digital screens use a backlight to illuminate the text or images displayed upon them. this is often fine indoors, but viewing such screens in bright sunshine is difficult. Reflective screens, however, plan to use the ambient light, mimicking the way our eyes respond to natural-paper.
“For reflective screens to compete with the energy-intensive digital screens that we use today, images & colours must be reproduced with an equivalent top quality . which will be the important breakthrough. Our research now shows how the technology are often optimized, making it attractive for commercial use,” says Marika Gugole, Doctoral Student at the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.
The researchers had already previously succeeded in developing an ultra-thin, flexible material that reproduces all colours an LED screen can display, while requiring only a 10th of the energy that a typical tablet consumes.
But within the earlier design the colours on the reflective screen didn’t display with optimal quality. Now the new study, published within the journal Nano Letters takes material one step further. employing a previously researched, porous & nanostructured material, containing tungsten trioxide, gold & platinum, they tried new-tactic—change design in such how on allow the colours to seem far more accurately on the screen.
Inverting the planning for high quality color
The inversion of the planning represents an excellent breakthrough . They placed the component which makes material electrically conductive underneath the pixelated nanostructure that reproduces the colors—instead of above it, as was previously the case. This new design means you look directly at the pixelated surface, therefore seeing the colours far more clearly.
In addition to the minimal energy consumption, reflective screens might have other advantages. for instance , they’re much less tiring for the eyes compared to watching regular screen.
To make these reflective screens, certain rare metals like gold & platinum are required, but because the ultimate product is so thin, the amounts needed are very small. The researchers have high hopes that eventually, it’ll be possible to significantly reduce the quantities needed for production.
“Our main goal when developing these reflective screens, or electronic paper, because it is usually termed, is to seek out sustainable, energy-saving solutions. In this case, energy consumption is nearly zero because we simply use the ambient light of surroundings,” explains research leader Andreas Dahlin, professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers.
Flexible with a good range of uses
Reflective screens are already available in some tablets today, but they only display the colours black & white well, which limits their use.
“A large industrial player with the proper technical competence could, in theory , start developing a product with the new technology within a few of months,” says Andreas Dahlin, who envisions variety of further applications. additionally to smart phones & tablets, it could even be useful for outdoor advertising, offering energy & resource savings compared with both printed posters or moving digital screens.
The technology in Chalmers researchers’ reflective screens is based on material’s ability to manage how light is absorbed & reflected. within the current study, tungsten trioxide is that the core material, but in previous studies, researchers also used polymers. Material that covers the surface conducts electronic signals throughout the screen & may be patterned to make high-resolution images.
The findings was published in the Journal of Nano Letters.