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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1058302
Agency Tracking Number: 1058302
Amount: $499,995.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: Phase II
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
435 Martin Luther King Dr. E, Suite A, Cincinnati, OH, 45229-3361
DUNS: 830795535
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Dean
 (480) 276-5971
Business Contact
 Kenneth Dean
Title: PhD
Phone: (480) 276-5971
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will create electronic paper displays from a new e-paper technology that promises substantially improved black and white contrast, bright color images, multimedia/internet update speeds, and zero power image hold. 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. The multi-stable pixel designs demonstrated in the Phase I program make possible zero power images with grayscales. The Phase II research project will develop the technology for complete electronic paper displays incorporating this new pixel technology that are robust and manufacturable, and that achieve record reflectance (~ 70%). The first prototypes to be designed and created will be simple information content displays with simple electrical drive, such as electronic shelf labels. The later stage prototypes will be e-Reader displays with active matrix backplanes. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the widespread replacement of paper-media with electronic paper, providing superior low power products to the current burgeoning market. In particular, the improvements demonstrated in this project enable saturated colors and multimedia "video" rates with a zero-power image hold, thereby overcoming performance barriers that have blocked low power color electronic books from entering the market. For example, this technology could replace a stack of textbooks with a single lightweight color multimedia tablet. The market opportunity is easily in excess of $10B, and will support numerous new U.S. jobs under a business model providing a sustainable economic benefit to the U.S.A. Multi-stable electrofluidic technology is also well suited for both small and large electronic signage applications.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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