Reflective image displays

Our total internal reflection (TIR) based reflective image displays use various microstructured polymer films to efficiently reflect ambient light and redirect it toward the viewer, resulting in a bright, white paper-like appearance. The appearance of black or colourful ink is achieved by absorbing the electromagnetic energy in the evanescent wave associated with TIR. For visible light, the evanescent wave region in such an optical system is typically less than 0.5 microns thick, and the absorption of this evanescent energy is known as frustrating the TIR. As a result, the absorbing material needs only to move less than a micron in order to modulate the TIR between the highly reflective and highly absorptive states. This motion can be done quickly and easily, resulting in a low-power reflective display technology that can create bright, full colour images with a video-update rate.