Unprinter erases the words from your page with laser beams!
Black printer cartridges are more expensive than gold, which means that clever-dicks will work out a way of making them cheaper, right? No chance. Instead, a team has worked out a way of erasing the words from your page with an unprinter.
Slope headed poshos in lab jackets from the University of Cambridge have unveiled this development which uses lasers to vaporise toner, which means that text can be burnt from a page without damaging the paper underneath.
A really fancy rubber then? (Full marks if you still snigger when someone says 'rubber')
And here comes the really boring bit that very few of you will understand or care about! The researchers look at previous work done using laser light to remove toner and noted that it centred on the use of ultraviolet, visible and infrared (IR) lasers under nanosecond pulses. However, these slapheads have expanded on this work by testing a wider range of ultrafast and long-pulsed lasers. Amazing, clearly.
"Colour analysis under the L*a*b* colour space, scanning electron microscope examination and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform IR spectroscopy measurements of the outcome show that, with the right laser, it is possible to remove toner from paper to enable its re-use," the geeks said.
"It turns out the best wavelength is 532 nanometres - that's green visible light - with a pulse length of 4 nanoseconds, which is quite long," David Leal-Ayala told New Scientist. "We have repeated the printing/unprinting process three times on the same piece of paper with good results. The more you do it, though, the more likely it is for the laser to damage the paper, perhaps yellowing it."
Will the technology be cheaper than the paper you'll throw away and, indeed, is there much point in developing something like this when the world aims to be paper 'free'?