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Looking good - this LED research could improve display clarity by 400%

LED research out of Princeton uses nanotechnology to produce LEDs with dramatically improved brightness, efficiency and clarity. A smartphone display made of this tech could be 400% clearer with significantly reduced power consumption.
September 28, 2014
Nanotechnology LED display research



Nanotechnology LED display research

Princeton researcher and professor Stephen Chou is not new to improving technology with his work using nanotechnology. This time around, Professor Chou is working on the LED tech that we use for our smartphones. This research is seeing dramatic improvements not only in the LEDs themselves, but in the overall display, which could lead to display performance and clarity up to 400% better than we are seeing now.

Professor Chou’s approach is pretty simple, his research has created a nanotechnology structure called a “plasmonic cavity with subwavelength hole-array.” Need I say more? Oh, I didn’t get that either.

While current LED technology is actually extremely inefficient, converting something like 2-4 percent of electricity into actual light, the rest is just heat, some researchers are managing to get upwards of 38 percent efficiency. This is not good enough for Professor Chou, who has managed to get up to 60 percent efficiency in lab tests.

With the increase of light output, there is also a problem with ambient light from traditional LED structure, creating a bleeding effect, or haziness. Professor Chou addresses this with the design of his nano-MESH, that can increase the contrast by up to 400%.

Nanotechnology, new LED for Display research
A typical LED traps most of the light, where the new system, called PlaCSH, guides the light out. Image Credit: Chou

The best part of this research, with the improved efficiency of the LEDs, we will see a reduction in power consumption by the very item that kills our batteries the fastest, our displays. So, not only will the LEDs, therefore our displays, last longer, but we should see battery life improvements to top it off.

It may be a while before we get this tech into our smartphones. Research and testing continue and the intellectual property legal stuff needs to be handled before your next phone gets to use this nanotechnology, but at least we know it is in the works.

With all the advancements of the future coming down the pipe, including the promises of graphene, silicene and similar, what display tech do you think will best improve future smartphones?