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Electrochromic Ink Produced by Electrolyte Polymerizations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047446D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Balanson, RD: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Electrochromic printing involves passing a current through paper which is wetted with an electrolyte, or which is precoated with a current-sensitive material, to produce a dark colored spot. There are two approaches to achieve the desired result. In the first approach, during the passage of current, an electrode dissolves electrolytically, producing ions which themselves are colored or which, through an interaction with a complexing agent, produce colored compounds. In the second approach, a colorless ingredient (or ingredients) of the electrolyte, or of the paper coating, is oxidized or reduced at one of the electrodes to a colored product. The latter approach has the advantage that the electrodes are not consumed.

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Electrochromic Ink Produced by Electrolyte Polymerizations

Electrochromic printing involves passing a current through paper which is wetted with an electrolyte, or which is precoated with a current-sensitive material, to produce a dark colored spot. There are two approaches to achieve the desired result. In the first approach, during the passage of current, an electrode dissolves electrolytically, producing ions which themselves are colored or which, through an interaction with a complexing agent, produce colored compounds. In the second approach, a colorless ingredient (or ingredients) of the electrolyte, or of the paper coating, is oxidized or reduced at one of the electrodes to a colored product. The latter approach has the advantage that the electrodes are not consumed. The principle requirements of the printing electrolyte, or the paper coating, are that the passage of current should effect an irreversible color change and that no discoloration should occur in regions outside the electrode contact area. The requirements of the "ink" itself are fastness to light, oxygen or moisture, and non-diffusion in the paper. What is disclosed here is a new method for electrolytic ink formation based upon the well-known process of oxidative or reductive polymer formation. The process involves subjecting a suitable monomer in an electrolyte medium to a voltage which oxidatively or reductively initiates the formation of a highly colored polymer. In particular, the method d...