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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pixel Dust

Digital Times has run a three part series Part I Part II Part III on carbon-nanotube field-emission displays. It is way technical but concisely discusses the problems with thin film transfer liquid crystal displays, and organic light emitting diodes. Some companies to look for in the field are Teco and Delta Optoelectronics.

Taiwan’s Electronics Research and Service Organization of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ERSO/ITRI) recently announced the development of a 20-inch carbon nanotubes backlight unit and Digital Times interviews Dr. CC Lee, deputy director of flat-panel development at ERSO/ITRI.

Good and essential reading but the degree of reading difficulty is increased by the incessant use of alphabet soup.

Here is a glossary:

CCFL - cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (used for backlighting a screen)
CNT-FED - Carbon-nanotube field-emission display
CNT-BLU - CNT backlight unit
ERSO/ITRI - Electronics Research and Service Organization of the Industrial Technology Research Institute
ICP-CVD - Inductively-coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition technique
OLED – Organic light emitting diode
TFT-LCD - Thin film transfer liquid crystal displays
VFD - Vacuum Fluorescent Display

-----UPDATED 14 July 2005----
Here is the answer to Chill:

The FED is a self emissive matrix, arranged in a grid, which function individually to generate electrons to stimulate emission from a phosphor. See Here.

FED CNT addresses the power issue as they are intrinsically very efficient using the same phosphor as the old CRT technology and as result use substantially less power than plasma displays. Generating visible light from the surface of a plasma display is a three-step process that requires a gas to be ionized, which in turn emits ultraviolet light that stimulates a phosphor to produce visible light. FED CNT allows for the elimination of the energy-hungry ionization step by stimulating the phosphors directly with electrons emitted by carbon nanotubes.

The central element of the carbon nanotube field emission display (CNT-FED) television is the field-emission cathode, which works by combining the phenomenon of quantum tunneling with the operating principle of a traditional lightning rod. In essence, as in a regular CRT, a cathode is induced to emit electrons, but unlike a regular CRT, field emission does not rely on heating the cathode to boil off electrons. Cathodes can therefore be packed close together with their supporting electronics without causing the entire display to overheat. The assembly of cathodes can then be placed close enough to the glass face of the display. Instead of using one traveling electron beam to address a pixel (a dot on the display), the CNT FEDs can have an electron beam for each pixel and as a result the bulky electromagnetic beam-steering setup used in a CRT can be eliminated

The BLU emits light which is subsequently manipulated by another device such as a liquid crystal array. See

The CNT-BLU developed by ERSO adopts planar electronic field as the backlight emission base, resulting in even luminance on the backlight surface that is suitable for application in large-area LCDs. Using carbon nanotubes coated on the backlight plate is the electron source for field emission provides good luminescence efficiency and requires simpler process. The ERSO-developed CNT-BLU has great improvement in both process simplification and cost reduction compared with the current technology of using CCFL backlight. The technology will be a helpful solution for the local manufacturers to enter large-area display market with competitive capabilities.


  • Great blog pal. You really keep in touch with what's going on. About this article, do you know what the difference between CNT-BLU and CNT-FRD TV is? I was unable to understand that part from the article.


    By Blogger chill, at 9:32 AM  

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