Tuesday, July 08, 2003

It would appear that, courtesy of Motorola, nanotech is finally hitting the big time. What's the first application? Oddly enough, enormous televisions for less than $1000

From atomic-scale "carbon nanotubes," Motorola Inc. has sprouted a new technology that will make it possible for the first time for manufacturers to easily grow and inexpensively produce the material to make large-scale TV and computer display tubes, the Schaumburg technology company announced Tuesday.

...the breakthrough was the development of a new, less complicated process... known as chemical vapor deposition, the tubes are laid down properly oriented on materials such as glass.

Ken Dean, principal staff scientist on the project... compared the process to a "cloud forming snow crystals [in which] the water vapor makes beautiful snow flakes." In this case, the vapor lays out standard-sized carbon nanotubes.

The Motorola process precisely places the carbon nanotubes on a surface material, while controlling their length and diameter. "This innovation gives manufacturers the ability to design products on a molecular level,"... the process will help display manufacturers better control brightness, color purity and resolution on flat panels.

Dawn McCraw, director of marketing for Motorola's advanced technology business, said the first application of the new technology will likely be as "nano-emissive displays" to enable manufacturers to build large flat panel displays with images comparable to today's flat panels using LCD or plasma technologies--but at a lower cost. She said licensing discussions are under way with manufacturers in Asia and Europe.
There are also plans to use this technology for more "uplifting" concepts, such as micro-level anti-bacterial technology, but there's something very appropriate about the initial application of the biggest hyped technology of the late 20th and early 21st centuries being, well, television.

(I won't even get into the relationship between new technology and pornography.)

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