Motorola debuts nanoemissive display

Leveraging its expertise in carbon nanotube technology (CNT), Motorola Labs has developed a 5-inch nano emissive display (NED) prototype that promises better performance features and lower manufacturing costs than competing technologies used in flat-panel displays.

SCHAUMBURG, IL-Leveraging its expertise in carbon nanotube technology (CNT), Motorola Labs has developed a 5-inch nano emissive display (NED) prototype that promises better performance features and lower manufacturing costs than competing technologies used in flat-panel displays.

The working prototype is an operational, full-color 5-in video section of a 1280 x 720, 42-inch high-definition television (HDTV). According to Motorola, the prototype features high-quality brightness; vivid colors using standard cathode ray tube (CRT) phosphors; 3.3-mm thickness;, low-cost drive electronics (comparable to LCD and much lower than plasma displays); and response time, viewing angle, and operating temperature characteristics that meet or exceed those of CRT displays. In addition, the company claims that power dissipation and lifetime should be significantly better using NED technology compared to plasma displays.

“We believe NED has the potential to be the next generation of flat-panel display technology,” said Vida Ilderem, vice president and director of embedded systems and physical sciences at Motorola Labs in Phoenix.

Motorola has 160 U.S. patents and 15 years of experience in CNT and flat panel display technology, which the company says enabled researchers at Motorola Labs to develop a proprietary, scalable technique for growing CNTs directly on glass. Unlike existing methods of applying CNTs to the cathode using an organic paste, the Motorola method uses chemical-vapor deposition (CVD) with fewer processing steps, lower manufacturing costs, and better electron emission performance than CNT paste processes.

“Motorola has proven its NED technology to be fully video capable,” said Kimberly Allen, Director Display Technology and Strategy for analyst firm iSuppli. “CNT direct growth on glass appears to have advantages over CNT paste/printing approaches and has potential for larger and more sophisticated displays.” DisplaySearch (Austin, TX), a flat panel display analyst firm, conducted a detailed cost-model analysis and estimates the manufactured cost for a 40-inch NED panel could be under $400.

Motorola’s NED was invented by researchers at Motorola Labs in Phoenix, AZ and the project was partially funded by the Early Stage Accelerator, Motorola’s internal funding arm for commercialization. Motorola Labs is the research division of Motorola that focuses on leading-edge technologies for future products and future enhancements. According to Ilderem, that the Labs also have active programs in chemical and biosensing, nanoelectronics, and nanoenergy using CNTs, and nanolithography and nanoimprinting techniques for the creation of nanostructures. Their sister lab in Schaumburg is working on nanomaterials for a variety of different commercial applications.

“Because our research focus is on development of the CNT technology used for the cathode and not on the flat-panel electronics and architecture, it is Motorola’s intent to license the NED technology to others with expertise in the flat-panel display market,” Ilderem said. “Our next goal is to partner with someone to develop a full 40-inch prototype display.”

According to Ilderem, the manufacturing process for the NED display is compatible with 75% of the processing equipment used for the manufacture of plasma displays, and compatible with 50% of the processes used for the manufacture of LCD displays.

Details of Motorola’s NED performance will be presented at the 43rd annual Society for Information Display (SID) International Symposium and Exhibition in Boston, MA, May 22-27.

-Gail Overton

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