E Ink and Lucent Receive Award for Worlds First Electronic Paper
Press release from the issuing company
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & MURRAY HILL, N.J.--Sept. 19, 2001--E Ink Corporation and Lucent Technologies today announced they have won R&D Magazine's 2001 R&D 100 Award for their development of the world's first sheets of electronic paper, a new class of display that has the look and feel of conventional printed paper.
E Ink and Lucent entered into a joint development agreement in October 1999 to co-develop a flexible, plastic electronic display made entirely with a process similar to ink-on-paper printing. One year later the two companies jointly demonstrated working prototypes built on thin sheets of plastic, an important step in the march towards electronic paper and next-generation displays.
The prototypes consist of a 25-square-inch display area made up of several hundred pixels. The displays were constructed using two ground-breaking developments: E Ink's electronic ink and Lucent's active-matrix drive circuits printed on plastic, which were developed by Bell Labs, Lucent's research and development unit. The transistors in these circuits are made of plastic materials and are fabricated with a low-cost printing process that uses high-resolution rubber stamps. Their switching properties are similar to typical thin film transistors made with silicon and conventional fabrication methods, but they are mechanically flexible, rugged and lightweight. The electronic ink enables the display's paper-like qualities: extraordinary brightness and contrast under a wide range of lighting conditions; easy viewing from all angles; low power consumption; and plastic film construction.
"Our collaboration with Lucent was a significant milestone toward creating RadioPaper(TM), E Ink's ultimate vision for a dynamic high-resolution electronic display that combines a paper-like reading experience with the ability to access information anytime, anywhere,'' said Jim Iuliano, president and CEO of E Ink Corporation. "In the coming years we expect our electronic ink will have broad usage in many applications, from point-of-purchase signs in retail stores, to replacement displays for pagers, cellular phones and PDAs, to thin, portable electronic books and newspapers.''
"Electronic paper was the first demonstration of a realistic application for plastic transistors in a flexible device. Over time, we see plastic transistors finding use in a variety of low cost electronic information appliances,'' said Tom Uhlman, president of Lucent's New Ventures Group. "The display represents a significant scientific advance over previous work in plastic electronics and paper-like displays, which, until now, has been limited solely to simple demonstrator systems capable of working only in specialized laboratory conditions.''
The editors of R&D Magazine selected the recipients of this award from entries initially reviewed and screened by outside experts, including professional consultants, university faculty and industry researchers. Recipients of the R&D 100 Award were selected based on technological significance and substantial improvements in new or existing technologies. A complete report including all 100 Award recipients will be published in the September 2001 print and electronic issues of R&D Magazine.
Past R&D 100 Awards have included products with household names such as Polacolor film (1963), the flashcube (1965), the automated teller machine (1973), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine (1975), the liquid crystal display (1980), the printer (1986), the Kodak Photo CD (1991), the Nicoderm antismoking patch (1992), Taxol anticancer drug (1993), lab on a chip (1996) and HDTV (1998).
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