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Science Technology

Nano Light-Emitting Fibers In the Lab 67

Posted by kdawson
from the just-apply-an-electric-field dept.
moscowde writes "Researchers at Cornell University have created a so-called Nano-Lamp — a microscopic collection of light-emitting fibers with dimensions of only a few hundred nanometers. The fibers are made of a polymer spiked with ruthenium molecules in a process dubbed 'electrospinning.' The bright spots on the fibers are smaller than the wavelength of the light they emit. The nanofiber glows bright orange when exposed to an electric field and can be seen in the dark with the naked eye. A professor at Princeton University called this 'a breakthrough in the way nanosize light sources are made.' Since the nanofibers are flexible, they could potentially be used in clothing or bendable computer displays."
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Nano Light-Emitting Fibers In the Lab

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  • Bendable screens (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:09PM (#19007019)

    Four questions about bendable screens (which I love the idea of. I would have to update my laptop if they come out with those.) I am not a scientist, so I have no clue what the answers could be.

    1. Since we don't have LED monitors yet, only plasma, DLP, CRT and LCD, would we actually be able to make Nano-light fiber monitors
    2. 100 volts of electricity to make light that can only be seen in a dark room? Would we be able to power this via a battery for any length of time, and would I get electricuted if I dropped it?(1)
    3. Is there any degree of control for which elements in the strand light up?
    4. Are we limited to monochrome screens, or will we use three elements (Lithium, Copper and Cobolt??) for RGB?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For bendable LCD screens, look at this article ( http://www.physorg.com/news5142.html [physorg.com] ).

      1. This is not true. If you have a LG, Samsung, Motorola cell phone, then you are using the current technology, OLED (organic LEDs). Please look-up Samsung. On the "open market," Samsung has released their OLED screens (2005; http://www.physorg.com/news5318.html [physorg.com]). A possible outcome for the technology presented here is increasing the number of pixels/cm, smaller screen devices.

      2. See item before, cell phones uses l
    • Re:Bendable screens (Score:4, Informative)

      by dissy (172727) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @11:02PM (#19007265)
      100 volts of electricity to make light that can only be seen in a dark room? Would we be able to power this via a battery for any length of time, and would I get electricuted if I dropped it?

      The fluorescent backlighting in your current laptop requires much more than this to light up right now, usually in the range of 400 - 10000 volts.

      So scale down that voltage to this 'high' voltage of 100v, and compare to your current battery life and frequency of getting shocked when you drop it.
    • Re:Bendable screens (Score:5, Informative)

      by evanbd (210358) on Sunday May 06, 2007 @01:44AM (#19008055)

      100 volts of electricity to make light that can only be seen in a dark room? Would we be able to power this via a battery for any length of time, and would I get electricuted[sic] if I dropped it?

      Voltage != Power. Power is voltage times current (amps). Increased voltage is not directly connected to power usage, it all depends how much current goes with it. Current CCFL laptop display lights use voltages usually > 1000 volts without any problems with battery life or electrocution hazards.

      • by Cadallin (863437)
        Eh? Those CCFL lamps are one of the most power hungry devices on modern laptops, which is why there's been such a push to get them replaced with LEDs (Which operate at normal voltages for Electronics, and batteries). I understand your point, but there are generally problems with efficiency when you start having to convert a 5V or maybe 10V or 12V or so battery source to voltages that high. Inefficiencies in the electronics end up being additional major power users in themselves.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Agripa (139780)
          Fluorescent tubes are still more efficient then high power LEDs so even with the converter losses and lower efficiency of space constrained cold cathode tubes, it will be still be a while before improved LED technology catches up. Where LEDs really pay off is in smaller form factors where the disadvantage of high voltage wiring and the space needed for the converter can not be accepted. The real gain will happen if any of the emissive technology displays can become viable since they do not have to discard
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Voltage != Power. Power is voltage times current (amps). Increased voltage is not directly connected to power usage, it all depends how much current goes with it. Current CCFL laptop display lights use voltages usually > 1000 volts without any problems with battery life or electrocution hazards.

        We're talking a bendable screen here, and average personal intelligence. I'd never take a laptop anywhere it could get wet, but say I had something resembling a piece of paper--I know I'll end up treating it like
    • More likely, nano-scale light fibres might be used in switching very small optical devices. Imagine if two nano light fibres were aligned such that a signal could be injected, would the additional photons be enough to raise the threshold of the original signal such that it could then emit a signal through an end junction that it ordinarily wouldn't? Sounds like an optical transistor to me.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:12PM (#19007033) Homepage
    Mark me on this. These fibers will be included in hair weaves and seen frequently in clubs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      These fibers will be included in hair weaves and seen frequently in clubs.

      Screw that. I want them woven into women's stockings to look like airport landing lights for...

      Oops. I probably shouldn't have said that out loud. Never mind...

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

      These fibers will be included in hair weaves and seen frequently in clubs.

      Screw that! I want them woven into women's stockings to look like airport landing lights for...

      Oops. I probably shouldn't have said that out loud. Never mind...

    • Picture this: William Shatner wearing a light emitting toupee.

  • by cyberbob2351 (1075435) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:14PM (#19007041) Homepage
    Lets just get the preliminaries out of the way...
    • Will it run linux?
    • Welcome our new nano-pixel hi-res overlords
    • I'm still stuck on CRT technology you insensitive clod!
    • by Mogster (459037)
      you forgot...

      In Soviet Russia Nano Fibers light YOU

      1. Develop light emitting nano fibers
      2. License tech to advertisers & t-shirt manufacturers
      3. ?????
      4. Profit!

    • I'm still stuck on CRT technology you insensitive clod!
      You crazy young'uns, my abacus will outlast you all! Now get off my lawn!
    • The fibers will be woven into ribbons and tied in the manes of ponies. Lots and lots of ponies. OMG, PONIES, you insensitive clods!!!
  • flexible displays (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drDugan (219551) * on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:15PM (#19007055) Homepage
    i want to see curved displays - like a giant earth globe/sphere that is a display, or a mounted movable sphere you can be inside of, with your head at the center that displays inward to the viewer. you run around inside and the globe spins, moving you in a virtual environment - 3D WOW fun!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nullav (1053766)
      I'm pretty sure you could do that with current technology, as none of that requires anything to actually bend during use. Come to think of it, you can also bend OLED displays.
    • "i want to see curved displays - like a giant earth globe/sphere that is a display, or a mounted movable sphere you can be inside of, with your head at the center that displays inward to the viewer. you run around inside and the globe spins, moving you in a virtual environment - 3D WOW fun!"

      You mean something like this? - http://www.gizmag.com/go/4833/ [gizmag.com]

      I've seen an earlier version that instead of a clear sphere with the user wearing LCD glasses, the sphere is opaque and they projected the virtual world
  • And then again, I'm not.

    Can you imagine the uses for bendable computer displays? Some would be amazing. You could have a roll-up monitor in your pocket like you see in science fiction movies.

    Or there could be people wearing clothing made out of them covered in advertisements... That's what I'm afraid of. Imagine walking down the street and you see something bright coming towards you. You squint your eyes. As it gets close, you can make out the words emblazoned all over the body like a battle flag.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by maxume (22995)
      But also, they will give us contact lens screens that give us the ability to edit the reality that we see, so you can just paste whatever you want over crazy stupid advertising shirts.
  • Clothes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by blhack (921171)
    I was telling an engineer friend of mine that if she could make clothes that had dynamic writing on them, she would make a fortune. Imagine, a t-shirt that says: GOT ROOT? at one point, and GOT ROOT! at another ;-) Or a tshirt with a short animation playing across it. Instead of riding' spinnaz', rappers could make songs about wearin' scrollaz'!
  • Put these right on the CPU and watch the ping drop and bandwidth increase.
  • fashion (Score:4, Funny)

    by Khashishi (775369) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:41PM (#19007161) Journal
    Somehow I don't think this [wikimedia.org] will ever be a fashion statement.
  • Researchers at Cornell University have created a so-called Nano-Lamp...

    ...and his big brother is named Luxo Jr. [pixar.com] Researchers are now working on a nano-beachball for him to play with.

  • I guess... if you want clothing that glows faintly orange in the dark...
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by RSKennan (835119)
      Yeah, people who ride bikes, run, work on the highways, or do just about anything at night where you can get hit by a car would find it useless. I think it would be useful to anyone who wears an orange vest, except for hunters.
  • The light-emitting spots on the fibers measure less than 250 nm in diameter which makes this light source smaller than the wavelength of light that they emit - 600nm

    What is new about this? Electrons emit light too; they're 1.0 × 10^-6 nm in diameter, over a million times smaller?
    Anyone have a link to something a little more in depth than the blog post that is TFA that explains this a little better?

    • It doesn't really make sense. I think they're just trying to give a reference for how small this thing is.
  • Right, because the one thing we've all been craving is 394 million dpi displays. :-P
    • by WeblionX (675030)
      Well, due to limitations and a rush to bring a product to market, we'll only get 300DPI screens, but that's fine for me. The bigger problem is only having shades of orange.
  • Or newly broken nano-lamp will lead to "Hello my mutant, hello my carcass"...
    See Ruthenium Tetroxide [wikipedia.org]
  • New larger road-side displays of the Mooninites giving the finger will be distributed very, very soon.
  • Even more advertisements every where i walk. Great going guys.
  • Nano turn signals!

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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