Transparent transistors to power next generation of displays

Cyrus Farivar
C. Farivar|12.23.06

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We've been following this trend of making stuff invisible for some time now, and the short of it is that invisibility doesn't really quite work as much as we'd like it to for now. But a new result from Northwestern University may be the closest to true "invisible" electronics that we've seen thus far -- honestly, they're really just transparent. A group of scientists, led by Tobin J. Marks, a professor of chemistry, materials science and engineering at Northwestern, have just published a paper in Nature Materials that says that it's possible to produce "transparent, high-performance transistors" on glass and plastics. Dr. Marks said that it was conceivable to be able to construct "displays of text or images that would seem to be floating in space," -- such as a heads-up display of a map built into your windshield, or a visual aid built into a set of goggles for soldiers -- and that new displays based on this technology could be commercially available via his new startup Polyera within 18 months. Heck, if we could use an upgraded version of our bedroom window as a ginormous display to watch TV or movies on, we'd toss our 30-inch LCDs and/or plasma screens in a second.
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