Everytime we think we have reached the limits of display technology, some new discovery comes along that expands the frontiers of what is achievable.
We’ve seen flexible LCDs already appearing on smartphone displays and even wide display TVs. But they consume lots of energy. A new nano-pixels (300 by 300 nanometres in size) technology from Oxford University, discovered by chance while “exploring the relationship between the electrical and optical properties of phase change materials“, is completely different and promises to allow the creation of incredibly thin (and therefore flexible) displays that are not only extremely high-resolution but have also low energy consumption.
“We didn’t set out to invent a new kind of display,” said Professor Harish Bhaskaran of Oxford University’s Department of Materials, who led the research. “We were exploring the relationship between the electrical and optical properties of phase change materials and then had the idea of creating this GST ‘sandwich’ made up of layers just a few nanometres thick. We found that not only were we able to create images in the stack but, to our surprise, thinner layers of GST actually gave us better contrast. We also discovered that altering the size of the bottom electrode layer enabled us to change the colour of the image.”
Flexible paper-thin displays based on the technology could have the capacity to switch between a power-saving ‘colour e-reader mode’ and a backlit display capable of showing video. So there is no need to constantly refresh all the pixels as in most conventional LCD screens, only those pixels that actually change, and hence the extremely low energy consumption required.
Practical applications for these nano-pixels display may include foldable screens, windshield displays, smart glasses, and even synthetic retinas that mimic the abilities of photoreceptor cells in the human eye.
Read the whole article at: physorg
Wonder if we will be seeing similar “discoveries” that will revolutionize what is achievable in image sensor technology?