Screens are everywhere. From diners to taxis, work to school, they are in our pockets and in every room in our homes. In the 21st century, they are the ubiquitous piece of our daily environment, vital for the digital world around us, and the very portals of the information we consume. The quest to make them stronger, clearer, more intense and better with energy, is constant. Photometric standards are an important piece in the scientist’s toolbox in that continuous march toward the perfect screen.
Recently, a group of researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) have made some interesting findings along these lines. Using electric voltage, they have found a way to tune the pixels in screens, in order to create better resolution. The work, which began with a paper published in the journal “Nature Communications” in 2015, could completely alter the entire screen industry if replicated on a large scale.
A simple summary of current screen technology goes like this: screen pixels hold three or four sub-pixels colored green, red, blue, and sometimes, yellow (this is very similar to what was embedded in old tube boxes, for those that can remember). These colors are fixed, which makes the resolution and clarity of screens essentially static.
With a stroke of genius from the UCF researchers, a new technique allows for those sub-pixel colors to change in real-time with a targeted electric charge. This means that these pixels can be tuned. This creates screens that are extremely versatile with the color spectrum they are able to emit, and opens a world of potential innovation. It also makes the static sub-pixels a relic.
UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center is behind this work, with the guiding minds of assistant professor Debashis Chanda and physics doctoral student, Daniel Franklin.
To make this all possible, the pair created an embossed nanostructure surface with an overlay of reflective aluminum. Most of the work on this structure was completed in 2015, but the recent breakthrough came from realizing that by altering the surface roughness of the nanostructure, they could modify the full pixel range without having to create separate substructures for each individual color change.
Needless to say, this all took very accurate photometric standards. It is this exact kind of innovative work that we at Gooch & Housego look for and commend. For more information on our labs and instruments, contact us anytime at 407-422-3171.