A team of researchers recently announced an improvement in liquid crystal displays (LCD) that utilizes aluminium in place of conventional materials. The researchers, from Rice University and the University of New Mexico, determined that aluminium nanoparticles could eliminate color fading, a problem endemic with current LCD’s.
In order to overcome the problem of fading, researchers previously developed a type of aluminum nanoparticles that are capable of displaying colors in electronics due to a property called “plasmon resonance.” To create plasmonic color devices, researchers group nanostructures into arrays called pixels. In order to generate color, light is scattered onto the pixels. Different light arrangements created different colors. These pixels are an improvement upon the current technology because they are inexpensive and can be made very small, thereby increasing image resolution.
However, the colors were dull and muted. In order to overcome this problem, the research team developed aluminium nanostructures capable of Fano interference, which is an interaction between the plasmon resonance and the pixel’s array structure. When using this in conjunction with their previous research, the team created pixels with thoroughly vivid colors across the entire visible spectrum. At that point, the research team incorporated a set of red, green and blue pixels into an LCD that could be toggled electrically, which showed this work’s usefulness in commercial flat-panel displays.
The paper, entitled “High Chromaticity Aluminum Plasmonic Pixels for Active Liquid Crystal Displays,” describes work conducted by Jana Olson, Tiyash Basu, Da Huang, Andrea E. Schlather, Bob Zheng, Naomi J. Halas, Peter Nordlander, and Stephan Link, of Rice University in Houston, and Alejandro Manjavacas of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The team’s research was funded in part by the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, Rice University, the University of New Mexico and the National Science Foundation.