Scientists have created a pixel a million times smaller than the screens of modern smartphones

Scientists have created a pixel a million times smaller than the screens of modern smartphones

On Friday, a group of British scientists from the University of Cambridge published an article in the journal Science Advances with a story about the development of promising technology for the production of relatively inexpensive screens of almost unlimited size. Do not be confused by the mention of Friday and the British scientists who have crammed the phrase. Everything is fair and serious. The study is based on the study and use of long-known plasmon quasiparticles in the framework of physical phenomena of plasmonics. In short, plasmons are a cloud of electrons on the surface of a material. They have certain collective properties and depending on a number of factors can emit light in the visible range with a given wavelength (color).

Scientists from Cambridge have developed a technology of mass production of screens based on plasmons. The smallest particles of gold were covered with conductive plastic polyaniline and evenly sprayed on the plastic surface with a pre-applied mirror coating on it. Each granule of gold on the surface is the basis for a miniature pixel, the size of which is a million times smaller than the screens of modern smartphones. The technology is very simple for mass production, as the developers insist. Such screens with billions of pixels per meter can be produced with continuous tape at high speed. We are talking about the production of flexible displays literally the size of the wall of a multi-storey building.

The light falling on such a screen falls into a trap between the gold nanoparticles covered with plastic. The conductive coating plastic under the influence of the control voltage changes the chemical properties in a predetermined way and causes a change in the wavelength of the reflected light in a wide spectrum (the wavelength can be reduced to 100 nm or less). The pixel begins to glow with a given color and, importantly, this state is bistable, which does not require power to hold the selected color.

The prospects for such screens are huge

The prospects for such screens are huge ― from information to camouflage. The highest resolution will hide the fighter even in open areas, and the use of architecture will open the way to new and unusual solutions. Displays for electronics will also receive a boost to development. They will be well read in bright sunlight and will cease to be the most active battery eaters. But before that, there is still a long way to go, improving and developing the technology. In particular, a team of scientists began to work on expanding the color range of displays based on the presented technology. You can learn more about development in the article in Science Advances. To read it (in English) registration is not required.

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