Meta-display concept could retire LCD panels in big-screen TVs

Meta-display concept could retire LCD panels in big-screen TVs

A research team from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales in Canberra have developed proof-of-concept display technology that could replace billboards LCDs common to many large screen TVs today.

While some modern high-end TVs may sport quantum dot screens or OLED panels, many cheaper models available will use LCD (liquid crystal display) technology, polarizing filters and LED backlighting. But the researchers say the limit has been reached for the development of this type of technology.

“The capacity of conventional displays has reached its peak and is unlikely to improve significantly in the future due to multiple limitations,” said Dragomir Neshev, professor of physics at the Australian National University. “Today there is a quest for an all-solid-state flat display technology with high resolution and fast refresh rate. We have designed and developed metasurface pixels that may be ideal for the next-generation display. Unlike liquid crystals, our pixels do not require polarized lights to operate, which will cut the power consumption of displays in half.”

To control individual pixels at a high modulation rate, the proof-of-concept platform uses a transparent conductive oxide to act as an electrical heater that can rapidly change the optical properties of silicon metasurface cells, which are said to be 100 times thinner. than liquid crystal cells or 200 times thinner than a human hair. The technology results in sub-millisecond response times, 10 times faster than the detection limit of the human eye.

Australian National University PhD student Khosro Zangeneh Kamali with the team’s proof of concept of electrically programmable silicon metasurfaces

Khosro Zangeneh Kamali, Australian National University

“Our pixels are made of silicon, which offers a long lifespan unlike the organic materials required for other existing alternatives,” noted Professor Andrey Miroshnichenko from the University of New South Wales in Canberra. “Additionally, silicon is widely available, CMOS compatible with mature technology, and cheap to produce.”

This technology could also be used for dynamic VR holography, in LiDAR technologies, and allow the production of thinner flat screens at 100 times higher resolution than current LCDs, while reducing power consumption by half. energy.

Additionally, since the metasurface array could simply replace the liquid crystal layer in current displays, the researchers believe manufacturers won’t need to invest in entirely new production lines to make panels.

The project will now seek to develop the technology for large-screen TVs, as well as further improve the performance of metasurfaces using AI and machine learning.

“We have paved the way to breaking a technology barrier by replacing the liquid crystal layer in current displays with a metasurface, allowing us to manufacture affordable flat displays without liquid crystals,” said lead researcher Mohsen Rahmani, Professor engineering at Nottingham Trent University. School of Science and Technology. “The most important parameters of flat panel displays are pixel size and resolution, weight, and power consumption. We’ve addressed each of these with our meta-display concept.

“Most importantly, our new technology can lead to a dramatic reduction in energy consumption – this is great news given the number of monitors and televisions used in homes and businesses every day. It’s time for LCD and LED screens to be phased out in the same way that older cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions have been over the past 10-20 years.

An article on the research was published in the journal Light: science and applications.

Sources: Nottingham Trent University, Australian National University, University of New South Wales Canberra

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