Many modern digital devices rely on thin, efficient, and low-cost light-emitters for their displays and applications. The pixels that generate the different colors on the display are usually wired to very complex electronic circuits, but now a display has been developed that works with a much simpler architecture.
By simply combining a thin perforated gold film with a layer of liquid crystal, a much more efficient color filter results.
“Our color filters are a lot thinner and more compact than conventional thin-film-based color filters,” says Teng. “The colors of these filters can be tuned with ease so they are very versatile in applications.”
“The color selection of the devices comes from the patterned gold film. The collective motions of the electrons on the film surface — the so-called surface plasmons — absorb light at wavelengths that depend on the details of these patterns. In the present case, the patterns are narrow, nanometer-sized rings cut out of the films (see image). As the diameter of the rings changes, so does the color of the metal film. Pixels of a different color can be realized simply by patterning rings of different sizes across the same gold film.”
The device still has some kinks to work out before commercial use though: optimization of the switching speed, the contrast between ‘on’ and ‘off’ state, serving a larger area, and producing the fundamental colors. The researchers are confident these problems can be addressed in the near term though.
Source: The Agency For Science, Technology, and Research
Image Credits: Y. J. Liu
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