Electronic Paper Systems, Films, and Materials


Xerox’s electronic paper (e-paper) solutions combine unique microsphere materials, encapsulation, dispersion, and packaging architectures. The technology was originally developed by the world renowned Xerox Palo Alto research Center (PARC) and Xerox Research Center Canada (XRCC). Xerox is now making the following patents encompassing this technology available for purchase or license.

A complete e-paper system solution was developed to support digital signage applications. The patents provide the fundamental building blocks for a standalone low power bi-stable display platform, and have been cited extensively by e-paper market leaders and material manufacturers. Many of the patents are far reaching in nature, encompassing uses beyond strictly e-paper applications.

Technology Description

Xerox holds early, ground breaking patents that cover systems, methods, and materials to support the development of inexpensive, low power, bi-stable, digitally addressable systems. Descriptions of some of the technology and patent areas are provided below:

Microspheres, Encapsulations and Dispersions

Xerox developed several new processes for packaging architectures and creation of specialized microspheres. These include Emulsion Aggregation (EA) process and microsphere production by alternative processes such as continuous spinning. These processes originated from the investigation of new methods for producing and dispersing microspheres required for the development of electrical/magnetic and photo reactive bi-stable low power e-paper materials.

Patents include encapsulation materials and processes such as vapor deposition and polymerization with a vinyl monomer for hollow, filled, polyester, polyethylene microspheres. The technology includes specialized surface and internal additives for tailoring electrical, magnetic, colorant and mechanical properties. Unique encapsulation materials and techniques allow for tailored wall materials, thicknesses, additives, and fill properties.

The portfolio also includes techniques and methods for dispersal of microcapsules into films and mediums. For further information on EA microspheres see the following link.

Displays and Films

Xerox is offering patents which describe methods, apparatus and systems associated with e-paper applications and manufacturing such as: ambient powered display devices, two-sided flexible displays, and robust interconnects for conductive substrates. The patents available relate to particles and liquid materials, films and systems catering to e-paper systems. Other display patents, as well as specialty film patents, are available.

Alterable Display for Flexible Wearable Media

Xerox has developed systems, methods and apparatus for creating a more secure, informative, low cost display for removable memory media, such as a compact disk. The alterable display is physically attached to removable media for providing tracking, personalization and other information pertaining to the media. Furthermore, the display apparatus requires no direct connection to any other circuitry.

Externally Addressable Display Systems

Xerox has systems, methods and apparatus patents for creating and modifying e-paper displays and films through external means such as an electrical wand, print head or a stylus.

Conductive Adhesive Films

Xerox has developed systems for creating e-paper displays and films with truly unique characteristics and designs. Included are patents related to: methods and apparatus for making high-performance, robust, adhesive-enhanced conductive film materials, which can be applied to many other film and laminate technologies, such as solar and electrically addressable films.

Lens Modulation

Born out of the need for light responsive and addressable display media, Xerox developed devices and apparatus, supported by patents such as US 5777782 for light modulating lenses and films. These lenses and films are formed from a plurality of optically anisotropic particles that respond to a flux of optical energy.

Digital Signage Advertising

These broadly written patents are structured for dynamic updating and control of digital sign applications and systems, and include direction finding systems, incorporating electronically-readable tags, mobile controllers and electronic signage. See for example, US 7375634.

The systems, methods and apparatus described in the patents can help define/generate an integrated, actively responsive and dynamic information sharing experience. This group of patents can provide the backbone for an improved and efficient user experience such as part-picking, emergency directions, and in-store shopping.

Electronic Paper Security

Enhanced security features for digital media can be achieved with integration of Xerox e-paper methods and display apparatus and tamper detection systems. These patents incorporate multiple e-paper sheet overlays and pixel orientations as exemplified by US patent 6303211.

Benefits

Technology encompassed by these patents
  • Magnetically, electrically and photo-reactively responsive, bi-chromal and multi-colored microspheres
  • Unique encapsulation materials and shell attributes for tailored sphere properties
  • Secure content verification and modification systems
  • Precision patterned conductive interfaces
  • Precision addressable and conductive micro structures or films using electrical, magnetic, and photo- reactive mechanisms
  • Low power requirements
  • Dynamic addressability of displays and films
  • Flexible precision patterned conductive adhesive and release layering
  • Z-axis addressing systems with resolution of a single microsphere

Applications

  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Conductive Adhesive Films
  • Controlled release and reactive encapsulation systems for Pharmaceutical/Sensor/Chemical systems
  • Digital signage advertising such as dynamic interactive "You are here" systems, Product locators, department store specials, shopping aids, Directional aid systems
  • Electronic display content, tamper detection
  • E-Paper materials, displays and films and security applications
  • MEMS sized lens and optics
  • Micro fluidic systems
  • Personalization for toys, DVDs, CDs, USBs, Smartcards etc.
  • User definable adaptable instruction/package display labels for multiple languages
  • Reusable drawing tablets and books
  • Specialized microspheres and encapsulation materials and systems

Markets

  • Medicine and Life sciences
  • Sports and wearable displays
  • Microsphere manufacturing
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Agricultural industry
  • Digital media markets such as consumer digital advertising
  • Security and personalization markets such as smart labels and devices
  • Removable media manufacturing
  • Toy industry
  • Micro sensors and networks
  • Specialty film markets such as Solar, Smart materials and films
  • Warehousing and shipping

Intellectual Property Summary

The Xerox e-paper portfolio includes over 35 active US patents and applications. The representative patents below have been cited over 150 times by more than 20 companies including: Nokia Corporation, E Ink Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., Brother International Corporation, Intel Corporation, Research In Motion Limited, Motorola, Inc., Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Seiko Epson Corporation, 3M Innovative Properties Company, Sony Corporation, Cabot Corporation, CBRITE Inc., and NOVUS Partners LLC.

U.S. 8018410 IMPROVED FLEXIBLE AND TRANSPARENT GROUND PLANE FOR ELECTRIC PAPER E-Paper
U.S. 6348908 AMBIENT ENERGY POWERED DISPLAY E-Paper
U.S. 6588131 ANIMATED SIGN ASSEMBLY Digital Signage
U.S. 6573880 APPLICATIONS FOR ELECTRONIC REUSABLE PAPER E-Paper
U.S. 5989629 BICHROMAL SPHERES Microsphere
U.S. 7139114 BISYMMETRICAL ELECTRIC PAPER AND A SYSTEM THEREFOR External addressing
U.S. 7375634 DIRECTION SIGNAGE SYSTEM Digital Signage
U.S. 6235395 FLEXIBLE DISPLAYS E-Paper
U.S. 7357978 FLEXIBLE ELECTRIC PAPER DISPLAY APPARATUS E-Paper
U.S. 7229297 METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR MAKING AND USING AN ELECTRICAL CONNECTION BETWEEN A CONDUCTOR AND A CIRCUIT BOARD E-Paper
U.S. 6340965 MODIFIABLE DISPLAY HAVING FIXED IMAGE PATTERNS Security
U.S. 6303211 TAMPER-EVIDENT ELECTRIC PAPER Security


For Licensing Information

To learn more about licensing Xerox Electronic Paper Systems, Films, and Materials technology.