SBIR Phase I: Bistable Electrofluidic Device for High-Brightness Electronic Paper

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$149K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gamma Dynamics LLC
435 E Martin Luther King Dr., Suite A
Cincinnati, OH 45229
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate feasibility of a new electronic paper technology that promises substantially improved black and white contrast and bright, viable color operation. The technology, an electrofluidic pixel that uses voltage to move a colored pigment in a fluid, is capable of achieving twice the reflectivity of existing e-paper solutions. This improvement in reflectivity enables the color saturation found in printed media. However, new electrofluidic pixel designs are required to meet the low power requirements of e-paper applications. These applications require bistable switching states with bistable grayscale levels. The Phase I research project will design, fabricate, and demonstrate a 3D pixel structure that imparts zero Young-Laplace pressure in the unpowered state, thereby creating a bistable state. The Phase I design will produce a surface reflectivity exceeding 50%, while using fabrication steps that are compatible with flexible display manufacture. This project will also provide a road map for optimizing the optical films to achieve further reflectivity improvements. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to drive improvements to electronic paper and electronic book technology. The improved reflectivity demonstrated in this project has the potential to produce saturated colors, thereby overcoming performance barrier that has blocked color electronic books from entering the market. More importantly,