Roll-up for roll-up tellys

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The day when we can roll up our video display and tuck it under our arm, just like a newspaper, is getting closer. Boffins at Philips have developed a new technology that is fast enough to show video content and much brighter than any existing alternatives.

The technology’s called electrowetting and is based on controlling the shape of a confined water/oil interface by an applied voltage. Philips claims that its electrowetting displays are fast enough to display video content and nearly as thin as paper. In addition, the technology provides high-brightness, full colour displays which are four times brighter than reflective LCDs.

With no voltage applied, the coloured oil forms a flat film between the water and a hydrophobic (water repellent) insulating coating of an electrode, resulting in a coloured pixel. When a voltage is applied between the electrode and the water, the tension between the water and the coating changes – and the water and oil move aside. This results in a partly transparent or white pixel.

For more information about how the technology works go to the Philips research website or Nature magazine’s website

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