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New device opens next chapter on E-paper

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7:59pm, April 25, 2001

Imagine folding up today's newspaper only to unroll it tomorrow and find

tomorrow's news. Now, researchers have made a plastic electronic material that

could make such fantasies come true.

With the debut of electronic ink a few years ago, researchers took a step toward

meshing the data-handling power of electronics with the flexibility and

convenience of paper. Such inks, developed independently by teams at the

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and Xerox's Palo Alto

Research Center in California, contain particles that change a pixel's color–say,

from black to white–when exposed to an electric current (SN: 6/20/98, p. 396).

Among the early uses of electronic ink were large, low-resolution store signs for

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