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Black expands plastic display palette

  September 15/22, 2008
Combine a plastic that switches between black and transparent with plastics that change color, and you're a step closer to practical, high-contrast plastic displays.

A polymer electrochome the changes from black to transparent when electricity is applied is a key piece in developing electrochomic devices. Researchers have already developed red, blue and green polymer electrochomes that can be combined to make any color.

Electrochomic devices have the same appearance as printed materials like posters but can be controlled like computer displays, potentially including video. They promise to be inexpensive because polymer electrochomes can be printed or sprayed on in the manufacturing process.

Electrochomic devices could be used to make digital signs and electronic paper.

Research paper:
The Donor–Acceptor Approach Allows a Black-to-Transmissive Switching Polymeric Electrochrome
Nature Materials, published online August 31, 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Reynolds' Research Group

Related stories and briefs:
Electricity turns plastic green -- a precursor
Super fantastic thermal plastic -- related work

Back to TRN September 15/22, 2008

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