Damn, I thouhgt OLED was cool.This week, Motorola unveiled a working prototype of its revolutionary new nano-emissive display (NED) in time for this month's Society for Information Display International Symposium in Boston. At 5 inches wide and 1/8th of an inch thick, the high-definition display utilizes atom-sized carbon nanotubes grown directly onto a glass panel. Given proper electrical stimulus, nanotubes can emit electrons with near-perfect conductivity, creating TV images with superior brightness, color, contrast, and viewing angle to today's display technologies.
"With over 15 years experience and 160 patents in carbon nanotube technology and flat panel displays, we have developed a technology that could enable the next generation of large-size flat-panel displays to deliver an extraordinary visual experience at a fraction of current prices," said Jim O'Connor, vice president of Motorola technology incubation and commercialization.
Nanotube technology is not unique to Motorola; Samsung, SDI and ITRI have all built prototype displays using carbon nanotubes but have run into quality problems. Barry Young, vice president of the flat-panel display consulting firm DisplaySearch, described their method of spreading a carbon-nanotube paste onto glass as "a process compared to putting peanut butter on bread," resulting in a haphazard arrangement of carbon tubes that failed to align in the same direction. Motorola's breakthrough manufacturing technique utilizes a catalyst that grows directly on the glass, providing uniform and accurate positioning of each nanotube.
Cost analysis by industry analysts have speculated that a 40-inch NED panel utilizing Motorola's NED technology could be manufactured for under US$400, and O'Connor predicts that the technology could easily scale up to 42 inches for a TV or computer display. This would place NED screens in direct competition with big-screen displays such as plasma, DLP, or LCD that cost US$2,500 and up. The technology could also see potential applications as large screens in stadiums or as billboard advertising.
Though NED technology has yet to be successful in mass production, Motorola estimates that in a manufacturing environment, it can grow a nanotube in one to five minutes. It also faces competition in the large-TV market from rival surface-conduction electron-emitter displays (SEDs) as well as a continued fall in prices for rear-projection and plasma displays.