updated 05:55 pm EDT, Fri August 27, 2010
University of Michigan makes ultra-dense display
A team of engineers at the University of Michigan has created an ultra high-definition display that can display a logo of the school that is just nine microns tall. In comparison, the pixels on the iPhone 4's 3.5-inch, 960x640 resolution display are eight times larger. It was made possible by Jay Guo, an associate professor in U of M's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who developed a new color filter made of nano-level sheets of metal with precisely spaced gratings.
These gratings are sliced into metal-dielectric-metal stacks and act as resonators to trap and transmit light of a particular color. Different spacing catch different wavelengths of light and resonantly transmit through the stacks. The new displays require less layers and are simple to manufacture. In conventional LCDs, some five percent of the backlight reaches viewers' eyes, according to Guo, because they have two layers of polarizers, a color filter sheet and two layers of electrode-laced glass and the liquid crystal itself.
Guo believes the technology could be used in projection or in extremely compact and bendable displays. Some of this could be used by the military as well, as research is partially funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and DARPA.
A patent application is in progress, and the University is looking for commercial partners to build displays based on their prototype. [via TGDaily]