The environmental impact of paper is significant. To deal with this issue, researchers from Shandong University in China, the University of California, Riverside, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have invented a new type of “paper” that can be printed with light and can be used up to 80 times.
This amazing paper is printed using UV light and is erased by heating to 120 °C (250 °F). The concept behind this is the color-changing chemistry of nanoparticles. A thin coating of it is applied to conventional paper, which makes it reusable.
This reusable paper retains its configuration for about five to six days after printing, and then it slowly fades away. If you want to erase the paper earlier than that, you can heat the paper for about 10 minutes.
As per Yadong Yin, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, “The greatest significance of our work is the development of a new class of solid-state photo-reversible color-switching system to produce an ink-free light-printable rewritable paper that has the same feel and appearance as conventional paper, but can be printed and erased repeatedly without the need for additional ink. Our work is believed to have enormous economic and environmental merits to modern society.”
Yin went on to explain, “We believe the rewritable paper has many practical applications involving temporary information recording and reading, such as newspapers, magazines, posters, notepads, writing easels, product life indicators, oxygen sensors, and rewritable labels for various applications.”