The latest accomplishments in color video electronic paper displays manufactured by the team led by Professor Guofu Zhou from South China Normal University (SCNU), have been demonstrated recently. This year, this technology has been, once again selected as one of the most promising display technologies. Since the previous appearance in 2017, significant breakthroughs of video e-paper technology were achieved, as Professor Zhou declared. For more information see the IDTechEx report on functional materials for future electronics.
Great improvement of e-paper display performance can be achieved by using Electrowetting technology: ultra-low response time, distinct contrast ratio, low power, high resolution, full color
According to Professor Zhou, since the team invented and stabilized the unique spacer technology for SCNU e-paper last year, the resistance to external mechanical pressure can sustain and the display has significantly improved. Based on the spacer technology, the team has integrated other advanced structures into the display improving the response time to 3 ms, rivaling LCD and increasing the aperture (up to 80%). All these advanced features enable the display to show dynamic videos (up to 100 frames per second) and look bright.
Using a new 2.7-inch e-paper display, the team demonstrates a real-time clock prototype. According to Professor Alex Henzen, core member of the SCNU team and technical leader on e-paper: "This clock could work for years with a single coin battery and it can show high contrast images. In video mode, the device shows dynamic video, up to 100 frames per second, in monochrome. This is a big step for e-paper."
Significant improvement possibilities for outdoor billboards, based on segmented electrowetting color video e-paper: high contrast, low power, high color gamut
Since the team has demonstrated color and monochrome e-paper outdoor billboard components to potential customers last year, they have been jointly developing this e-paper technology and application. The most important modification is the pixel structure. Based on a new process and the technology mentioned in the above section, the team had significantly optimized the structure in both size and shape, which increased the display pixel aperture to more than 80%, and the contrast ratio to over 10:1. It makes the display look more colorful and brighter for both color and monochrome. What's more, a small group in the team has optimized the dye formula, which improved contrast and color gamut.
The team exhibits two new prototypes: one is segmented color signage board and the other is an ultra-bright monochrome billboard. These prototypes well represent all characteristics the team had promised to deliver: high contrast, high response time (video speed), high-color gamut, low power.
"The e-reader market has waited for a color video e-paper display for many years. And, this is a very huge demanding market, for education and outdoor application," stated by Professor Zhou. "Our display technology really matches the full features these devices require. We are going to release our first application product end of this year."
Source and top image: Electronic Paper Display Institute, South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University