So what should e-readers be made of? How about, let’s see — yes: paper.
This article reports on the use of paper as the substrate for the formation of displays based on the effect of electric fields on the wetting of solids, the so-called electrowetting (EW) effect. One of the main goals of e-paper is to replicate the look-and-feel of actual ink-on-paper. We have, therefore, investigated the use of paper as the perfect substrate for EW devices to accomplish e-paper on paper. The motion of liquids caused by the EW effect was recognized early on by Beni and Hackwood to have very attractive characteristics for display applications: fast response time, operation with low voltage, and low power consumption. More recent EW structures utilize the voltage-induced contact angle (CA) change of an aqueous electrolyte droplet placed on the surface of a hydrophobic fluoropolymer layer and surrounded by oil. Insulating, nonpolar oils (usually alkanes) are used for this purpose because they (unlike water) do not respond directly to the applied electric field. EW technology is used in many applications, including reflective and emissive displays, liquid lenses, liquid-state transistors, and bio/medical assays.
Seriously? I’m imagining letters re-forming on the page as on the Marauder’s Map.