Traditional color printing -- whether done with an inkjet, laser or silkscreen -- requires a page to be laid out with several different inks in various colors to produce a full color image. But Korean engineers have developed a different process using a single nanoparticle-imbued ink, which could produce color prints in fractions of a second.
The new ink, called M-Ink by its developers, creates colors by changing its physical structure rather than by having a unique pigment. Like many colors in the natural world (the iridescence of a butterfly's wing, for example) the same M-Ink can appear as different colors depending on the way light reflects off of its structural patterns. Magnetic nanoparticles in the ink can be manipulated to arrange themselves in different ways, instantly creating any color in the visual spectrum.
In the ink, particles 100 to 200 nanometers wide are suspended in a resin. When a magnet is applied, the particles snap into place in chain-like structures. Changing the magnetic field strength changes the color reflected by the ink.
Exposed to UV light, the resin hardens and the particles are locked into the pattern of a particular color. By using a technique called maskless lithography, where a narrow beam is directed over only one part of the ink, it is possible to expose some of the image in a single color and then adjust the magnet to add another shade, and another, to create a full-color image.
The prototype system takes a few seconds to print a letter-sized color image. But the researchers report that it should be possible to make the system work in less than a second.
Yeah, but will ink cartridges still cost $80 while the printers are literally given away? Or will it now be like $120 for ink?
It most likely wont be printed with "ink" that you would have to buy seperately, Most likely it would be on the paper already, then the paper would be charged through a printer that doesn't really print, but aligns the particles to make the image. My only thought is that anything with a magnet could ruin the image. So many many every day items could ruin it.
Oh! so Imongi is it printer or not? Sorry, I just could not help myself! I think you may have your information crossed as what I have read is that they have run this nanoparticple ink through a standard ink jet printer.
I am interested to know how is the ink product manufactured, is it safe?
Will the cost prohibit most people and most importantly if I consider Rprenri's comment, will it have good efficiency.
The problems that I recall with the earlier ink jet printer ink is that it used so much ink and it just did not offer value your use. Do we know what market this will be geared to as I sense that it will be costly and out of reach of most home printers.
Look forward to further advice.
regards and thanks