The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Extremely Large displays and mobility

printing.pngUC Berkeley researchers have developed a way to rapidly and inexpensively make uniform arrays of high-performing transistors out of carbon nanotubes on flexible plastic sheets, using conventional printing technology. This research can lead to large format displays.

 

Thin-film transistors made from carbon nanotubes are attractive because they are mechanically flexible, and can be more energy efficient.

 

The method “holds a lot of promise for very large-area displays—covering an entire wall with a display or a sensor array, for example,” he says. “If you are dealing with such large areas, in terms of manufacturing cost it’s just not feasible to use conventional-based processing.”

 

Ali Javey, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley “uses a lab version of a well-known manufacturing process called gravure printing. In his setup, the plastic substrate is mounted to a cylindrical drum, which rolls it over a flat surface that serves as a mask, patterned with holes filled with inks made of the desired materials. In a roll-to-roll setup, a second roll would serve as the mask.”

 

Roll-to-roll manufacturing should allow for a rapidly declining price point as the manufacturing skills develop for the particular application.

 

These kinds of innovations will likely shift our understanding of mobility and mobile apps into one that is focused more on an environmental flexibility view, rather than the device centric view taken by many technologists today. When we can take advantage of all the resources (like displays) around us, we can get more done, more effectively.

 

Sorry about the illustration, that was the closest thing I could find in a hurry that provided the sense of roll-to-roll manufacturing.

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About the Author
About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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