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Nanotubes coming to a screen near you

Brighter lights, bigger screens from new technology

2:17pm, April 28, 2011

Thin screens for televisions, computers and other big display devices may soon have brilliant, sharp pictures while consuming much less power, thanks to transistors that use carbon nanotubes to deliver current in a new way.

It will be at least a few years until the technology, described in the April 29 Science, graces your flat screen. But eventually such displays may be cheaper, last longer and use less energy than today’s finest liquid crystal displays.

The new technology employs organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs, tiny thin films that create light in response to electrical current. Such displays have several advantages over traditional liquid crystal displays — they aren’t backlit, for example, so darkness isn’t created by blocking light, but by individual diodes emitting less light. That saves energy.

But making OLED displays that are much bigger than a smart phone’s has been problematic. While they consume l

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