Carbon nanotubes grown on a piece of glass are the secret ingredient in a prototype high-defintion display developed by Motorola that promises to combine the size advantages of LCD technology with the brightness of older display technology.
Motorola has produced a five-inch (12.7cm) prototype display that features carbon nanotubes grown on a piece of glass in Motorola's labs, chief scientist for the company's embedded systems and physical sciences group, Jim Jaskie, said. Motorola's nanotubes were one nanometer (one billionth of a metre) wide and about one micron long, he said.
The company first announced its work on this technology two years ago.
Its goal was to produce high-quality displays that avoided a method used by other researchers of applying carbon nanotubes with a paste, according to a Motorola press release from July 2003.
The paste method produced a number of harmful particulates and does not allow manufacturers to arrange the nanotubes as precisely as Motorola's method did, Jaskie said.
Nanotubes were an excellent material for delivering high-quality images to displays, Jaskie said.
Current high-definition displays based on cathode ray tube (CRT) technology were enormous, and those built using LCD technology were expensive and could be hard to see in a well-lit room or at an angle, he said. Both techniques were fairly expensive.
Displays built using Motorola's technique for growing nanotubes could result in 40-inch displays that cost only $400 to manufacture, Jaskie said, citing a study by industry analysis firm, DisplaySearch.
The company could not be reached to confirm the results of the study.
These displays would also be as thin as LCDs, yet viewable at different angles or in bright rooms, Jaskie said.
Motorola's new prototype can display images at a resolution of 1280 pixels by 720 pixels, the minimum standard for high-definition televisions.
The company hoped to develop a display that can produce images of 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels, a more advanced high-definition standard, he said.
Motorola was in discussions with several different display manufacturers interested in its technology, Jaskie said. Although none had yet signed on, the company was optimistic because several aspects of current display manufacturing technology could also be used in making nanotube displays.