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Forget 3D, here comes the QD TV
December 16, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
Researchers have developed a new form of light-emitting crystals, known as quantum dots, which can be used to produce ultra-thin televisions.
The tiny crystals, which are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can be printed onto flexible plastic sheets to produce a paper-thin display that can be easily carried around, or even onto wallpaper to create giant room-size screens.
The scientists hope the first quantum dot televisions -- like current flat-screen TVs, but with improved colour and thinner displays -- will be available in shops by the end of next year. A flexible version is expected to take at least three years to reach the market.
Michael Edelman, chief executive of Nanoco, a spin out company set up by the scientists behind the technology at Manchester University, said: "We are working with some major Asian electronics companies. The first products we are expecting to come to market using quantum dots will be the next generation of flat-screen televisions.
"The real advantage provided by quantum dots, however, is that they can be printed on to a plastic sheet that can rolled up. It is likely these will be small personal devices to begin with.
"Something else we are looking at is reels of wallpaper or curtains made out of a material that has quantum dots printed on it. You can imagine displaying scenes of the sun rising over a beach as you wake up in the morning."
Although Mr Edelman was unable to reveal which companies Nanoco are working with due to commercial agreements, it is believed that electronics giants Sony, Sharp, Samsung and LG are all working on quantum dot television technology.
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