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Flexible e-paper replaces office printer paper

Posted on October 28, 2011
Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), a nonprofit research center has developed a highly flexible electronic paper that's both re-writable and re-usable, and doesn't require electricity to retain the screen image.
Licensing talks are already underway with ChangChun Plastics who plan to begin pilot production of a product next year.
Its i2R e-paper is a reusable and recyclable electronic paper that can take the place of regular office printer paper. ITRI says not only is the e-paper less expensive than the costly rewritable printer products currently available, but also the cost could be comparable to that of conventional black-and-white inkjet or laser printing.
A special type of liquid-crystal technology to display text and other images on a bendable, thin plastic sheet is used. To print a document, the sheets are run through a simple device, similar to an old-style thermal fax machine, that heats the liquid-crystal layer, turning molecules light or dark. ITRI estimates that a single sheet could be reused 260 times before it would need to be replaced.
ITRI was awarded the first prize in the Materials and Basic Science and Technology category of the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Awards.
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