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How It Works

Electronic ink works by combining principles of chemistry, physics, and electronics. It consists of millions of human-hair-sized microcapsules filled with black and white particles suspended in a clear fluid. The white particles are positively charged, and the black particles are negatively charged. The capsules are all positioned next to one another between two layers of material in a thin film. The top layer is typically transparent for visibility and the bottom layer is typically a layer of circuitry that can generate positive and negative charges across a pattern of pixels. This electrical charge in the bottom layer pulls the positively charged white particles toward a negative charge, and the negatively charged black particles toward a positive charge. The result is that a user looking at the electronic ink from above can see various patterns of black and white based upon the pattern of the electrical charge. Figure 43-1 shows an illustration of this, which should help to clarify how it works.

Figure 43-1. Electronic ink technology (Source: E Ink).



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