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Old 04-25-2006, 11:58 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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Liquavista mixes oil and water to produce a new display technology

There are a lot of new display technologies popping up these days, but if you look at your mobile device it probably has the same old display on it. Well, the more new technologies, the sooner we're going to start seeing one or more of them show up in real products.

One of the latest displays is pretty unusual. It's from Liquavista, which is yet another Phillips Research spinoff for commercialization of a new type of display that uses something called electrowetting. According to ZDNet news article, "In electrowetting, each pixel cell contains a small amount of dyed oil and water and a layer of a material that can be converted from hydrophobic (water repelling) to hydrophilic by applying electricity. When the material is hydrophobic, the water pushes away from it and forces the dyed oil against the surface. The pixel, which has a light source behind it, then projects the color of the dyed oil out.

In hydrophilic mode, the water draws toward the surface, shoving the dyed oil to the side, changing the color projecting from the pixel. Flipping the pixels rapidly allows a screen containing millions of the pixel cells to create an image."

It's somewhat similar to the e-ink technologies in upcoming e-book reader devices, but it should have better colors than even color versions of e-ink displays. The displays can be manufactured using much of the existing capabilities for LCD screens, which should help in the race to get products to market.

Related: Philips spins off Liquavista to start yet another e-paper venture
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