Nanotubes enter flat-panel market!

LCD, plasma and OLED displays could soon be in competition with a new challenger. Motorola Labs, the applied research arm of Motorola, has unveiled a prototype nanoemissive display (NED) based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs)…

“Our NED display is basically a thin, flat CRT with thousands of electron guns at each pixel,” a spokesperson for Motorola told OLE. “The prototype has full-colour video, high brightness, uniformity and colour purity in the ranges required for a commercial product. It shows NEDs have a promising future for use in flat-panel displays.”

Key to the development is Motorola’s ability to grow CNTs directly onto the display’s glass substrate. In the past, CNTs have been either pasted or printed onto a surface, but the quality of the resulting display has, to date, been disappointing.

“On a back plate, only 3mm behind each sub-pixel, we place a small structure that contains about 1000 CNTs arranged such that a properly applied voltage excites each CNT to bombard the colour phosphors with electrons,” explained the spokesperson.

With a thickness of just 3.3mm, the prototype is a 5 inch diagonal section of a 42 inch 1280 ×720 high-definition television, and has a refresh rate of 60Hz.
Motorola estimates that a 42inch NED running typical video would consume 75W. In comparison, the firm says a similar LCD would consume around 180W because it requires a 60 W backlight and matrix switching.
The company now plans to license the technology to panel manufacturers. “Motorola is ready to deliver this technology to manufacturers today,” revealed the spokesperson. “We estimate that it can be commercialized in the very near term, depending on the aggressiveness of licensees.”

The prototype has also been given the thumbs-up by display analysts. “Motorola’s NED technology offers full-colour video with good response time,” said Barry Young, CFO of DisplaySearch. “According to a detailed cost-model analysis conducted by our firm, we estimate the manufactured cost for a 40 inch NED panel could be under $400 [€320].”

This article was ripped from the June issue of Opto & Laser Europe Digital.

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