Researchers Develop Re-Writable Ink & Paper

Remember those fancy spy pens that every kid would get from their school book fair that could only be read with a flashlight, or colored over with a revealer pen? Well, it appears every kid’s dreams are coming true with re-writable ink and paper! With technology and innovations constantly evolving, we can’t help but feel excited about this newest creation.

According to Science News, a novel type of rewritable paper has been created, and believe it or not, it can be used more than 100 times! No more tossing out paper after every mistake, or passing notes in class only to have to read it aloud when caught. In addition to the countless re-uses this paper allows, the content in which is written or drawn on the paper can last for up to six months.


Although this may not technically be the first ever re-writable paper, it is the first of its kind that lasts the longest, and is paired with disappearing ink! It was Luzhuo Chen, a physicist at Fujian Normal University in China that led a team to create this new and improved re-writable paper. According to the source, the team behind this project was inspired by pens that contain erasable ink, which disappears when heated simply from erasing it with a special eraser, just like magic!

The ink used in this case uses a method referred to as a “redox reaction.” The term itself is a combo between reduction and oxidation. In addition to the “redox oxidation,” the ink color stems from a material knows as “crystal violet lactone,” which needs the developer to steal an electron, or oxidize it! As great as this may sound, the re-writable paper would require quite a lot of ink, making it dependent on it. Additionally, ink in such large amounts is not ideal for the environment, considering there are chemicals such as BPA found in the ink.

The research team is continuing their work in order to create an ink that poses less risk to both people and the environment! Apart from that one problem, the paper still has very “promising applications,” as Chen says. Let us know if you’d ever want to get your hands on some re-writable paper and disappearing ink? Sounds pretty cool!

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