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Peacock feathers form basis for reflective displays, could bring color to e-readers soon


Structural color -- that's engineer speak for a reflective display that mimics iridescence. And tech of that very sort could be trickling down into future generations of e-readers, thanks to current research by the University of Michigan. Using the "refined hairline grooves" of a peacock as a template, a research team led by Professor Jay Guo has found success in creating a prototype of one such high-res display by crafting nanoscale metallic grooves on silver-plated glass. Using the CMY color model (cyan, magenta and yellow) as its basis, the team was able to produce blues with a groove measuring 170 x 40 nanometers, reds at 60 nanometers wide and yellows at a width of 90 nanometers -- all with reflected sunlight and unaffected by viewing angles. At the moment, only static images can be reproduced, but Guo and his crew hope to add moving images to the format soon. If and when this reflective display makes it to market, you can surely expect e-reader battery life to go even more of a distance.

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