APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Field-emission displays for portable computing and electronic devices (smartphones, laptop computers, etc.)
- Backlighting for LCD displays for portable and large-screen stationary devices (television sets)
- Solid state lighting
- Electrostatic scrubbers
- Electron sources for microscopes and x-ray generators
- Low energy consumption
- High screen brightness
- Operate at lower voltages and less severe vacuums than current FEDs or LCDs
- Larger fabrication and operation tolerances than existing FED technologies
- Straightforward production method makes them commercially feasible
Novel field emission sources using carbon nanotubes have been developed by Berkeley Lab researchers Alex Zettl and Marvin Cohen. The Berkeley Lab technology overcomes problems currently associated with field emission devices (FEDs).
The new nanotube field emission sources are insensitive to distance between cathode and tip, an important feature that allows for larger fabrication and operation tolerances. FEDs based on the Berkeley Lab design will run at lower voltages and operate at vacuums three orders of magnitude lower than earlier devices. The field emission sources are robust; a form of self-regeneration enables them to withstand virtually all damage. Their straightforward method of production makes commercial fabrication feasible. Potential applications include mobile computing and communication devices, LCDs, electrostatic scrubbers for industrial air pollution control, and any applications requiring high local electrical fields.
STATUS: U.S. Patent # 6,057,637. Available for licensing
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: IB-1194