Reflective screens use ambient light which is typically then modulated and passed through colour filters. While they have the advantages of being readable under direct sunlight and consuming less power than emissive displays, they tend to look washed out compared with emissive displays. As a result, they are only specified for specific applications where impressive colour rendering is not the highest priority.
"For reflective screens to compete with the energy-intensive digital screens that we use today, images and colours must be reproduced with the same high quality. That will be the real breakthrough. Our research now shows how the technology can be optimised, making it attractive for commercial use," said Marika Gugole, doctoral student at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, in a statement.
Gugole and co-authors have developed an alternative means of producing such displays and have reported in the journal Nano Letters (see Electrochromic Inorganic Nanostructures with High Chromaticity and Superior Brightness ).
Using a previously researched, porous and nanostructured material, containing tungsten trioxide, gold and platinum, the team inverted the design in such a way as to allow the colours to appear much more accurately on the screen.
In addition to potential use in portable equipment such electronic paper could be used for outdoor advertising, offering energy and resource savings compared with both printed posters or moving digital screens.
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