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

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$149,457.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0944455
Award Id:
91135
Agency Tracking Number:
0944455
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
5815 Ropes Drive, Cincinnati, OH, 45244
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
830795535
Principal Investigator:
KennethDean
PhD
(513) 478-6991
grantsandcontracts@GammaDynamics.net
Business Contact:
KennethDean
PhD
(513) 478-6991
grantsandcontracts@GammaDynamics.net
Research Institute:
n/a
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, widespread adoption of electronic paper and electronic books provides significant benefits to the environment by saving millions of trees and reducing the landfill waste stream. The market opportunity could exceed $10B, and will support numerous new U.S. jobs under a business model providing a sustainable economic benefit to the U.S.A. Bistable electrofluidic technology is also well-suited for both small and large electronic signage. In addition to commercial potential, this Phase I SBIR will develop and disseminate a new tool for realizing 3D microfluidic devices, and create a new technology that will increase scientific interest and investment in the growing fields of electrowetting/electrofluidics and flexible displays.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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