Write with heat, cool and then repeat with rewritable paper

December 05, 2018

Even in this digital age, paper is still everywhere. Often, printed materials get used once and are then discarded, creating waste and potentially pollution. Now, scientists report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces the development of an easy-to-make "rewritable" paper that can be drawn or printed on over and over again. The messages can last more than half a year, compared to other rewritable papers whose messages fade after a few days or a few months.

The idea for rewritable paper isn't new, with several research groups pursuing different development strategies over the past few decades. But many of these approaches have drawbacks, such as complex fabrication, chemistry that relies on ultraviolet light to erase the writing or a constant need for energy to maintain the document. To overcome these limitations, Luzhuo Chen and colleagues wanted to develop a simple method for making long-lasting rewritable paper that can be wiped clean simply by changing the temperature.

The new material consisted of three layers in a sandwich-like structure. The researchers painted one side of a piece of paper with a blue dye that becomes colorless upon heating, just like the t-shirts popular in the 1990s that changed color when they were touched with a warm hand. Then, the other side of the paper was coated with a black toner layer that produces heat upon excitation with light. Using a "pen" that applies heat, a thermal printer or a source of near-infrared light, the team created images and words that remained legible for more than six months. They also produced a rewritable cell phone case. To reset the paper, the researchers cooled it down to 14 F. This process could be repeated more than 100 times.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province for Distinguished Young Scientists and Projects for Young Scientists in University funded by the Education Department of Fujian Province.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Light Articles from Brightsurf:

Light from rare earth: new opportunities for organic light-emitting diodes
Efficient and stable blue OLED is still a challenge due to the lack of emitter simultaneously with high efficiency and short excited-state lifetime.

Guiding light: Skoltech technology puts a light-painting drone at your fingertips
Skoltech researchers have designed and developed an interface that allows a user to direct a small drone to light-paint patterns or letters through hand gestures.

Painting with light: Novel nanopillars precisely control intensity of transmitted light
By shining white light on a glass slide stippled with millions of tiny titanium dioxide pillars, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their collaborators have reproduced with astonishing fidelity the luminous hues and subtle shadings of 'Girl With a Pearl Earring.'

Seeing the light: Researchers combine technologies for better light control
A new technology that can allow for better light control without requiring large, difficult-to-integrate materials and structures has been developed by Penn State researchers.

A different slant of light
Giant clams manipulate light to assist their symbiotic partner.

New light for plants
Scientists from ITMO in collaboration with their colleagues from Tomsk Polytechnic University came up with an idea to create light sources from ceramics with the addition of chrome: the light from such lamps offers not just red but also infrared (IR) light, which is expected to have a positive effect on plants' growth.

Scientists use light to accelerate supercurrents, access forbidden light, quantum world
Iowa State's Jigang Wang continues to explore using light waves to accelerate supercurrents to access the unique and potentially useful properties of the quantum world.

The power of light
As COVID-19 continues to ravage global populations, the world is singularly focused on finding ways to battle the novel coronavirus.

Seeing the light: MSU research finds new way novae light up the sky
An international team of astronomers from 40 institutes across 17 countries found that shocks cause most the brightness in novae.

Seeing the light: Astronomers find new way novae light up the sky
An international team of researchers, in a paper published today in Nature Astronomy, highlights a new way novae light up the sky: this is shocks from explosions that create the novae that cause most of the their brightness.

Read More: Light News and Light Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.