Researchers from Philips Research in the
Netherlands have demonstrated a fast, flexible computer display that is
nearly as thin as paper.
The five-centimeter-square prototype is a little less than a third
of a millimeter thick and still functions when rolled into a tube as narrow
as a centimeter. The key to the flexibility was making the screen from
plastic transistors, which are also relatively inexpensive.
The researchers' prototype 64-by-64-pixel display contains 1,888
organic transistors that control each pixel in the active matrix display.
The plastic transistors allow for the display's flexibility, and they
are also less expensive than silicon transistors because they can be made
in a relatively simple room-temperature process.
The display combines the flexible organic backplane with the E
Ink Inc. electronic ink scheme, which switches oppositely-charged particles
of black and white pigment suspended in fluid-filled microcapsules. The
Philips backplane switches the ink as quickly as 5 kHz, which is quick
enough to run video, according to the researchers.
The researchers are working on extending the lifetime of the backplane
and improving its resolution. The displays could be used commercially
in two years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the January
25, 2004 issue of Nature Materials.
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