http://www.suntimes.com/output/business/cst-fin-nano09.html Big screens a growth industry for Motorola May 9, 2005 BY HOWARD WOLINSKY Business Reporter Moto, Moto, how does your garden grow? The Schaumburg tech company is planting carbon nanotube seeds on glass and growing TV screens that it promises will shatter the prices now being paid for big-screen TVs. Motorola today will announce it is ready to begin marketing a new technology to "grow" large-screen TVs using atom-sized carbon nano tubes as seeds with the potential to produce superior images at a fraction of the price of today's big screens. And here's some news sports fans will welcome: A Motorola spokesman said the images are so sharp that even fast-moving objects, such as hockey pucks and baseballs, are visible without blurring or disappearing. "With over 15 years experience and 160 patents in carbon nanotube technology and flat panel displays, we have developed a technology that could enable the next generation of large-size flat-panel displays to deliver an extraordinary visual experience at a fraction of current prices," said Jim O'Connor, vice president of Motorola technology incubation and commercialization. He said a 40-inch screen will cost less than $400. This compares with 40-inch liquid-crystal plasma screens costing $2,500 and up today. The company has produced a first-of-its kind, 5-inch-wide prototype that is less than an inch thick for use as a high-definition screen. O'Connor said the process could easily be scaled up to a 42-inch display for a TV or computer display. Motorola can grow a carbon nanotube in less than two minutes. In a manufacturing environment it will take one to five minutes. A carbon nanotube is 10,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair. Motorola is shopping the technology to other manufacturers, and O'Connor predicted carbon nanotube TVs will be on the market within two years. Motorola itself pulled out of TV manufacturing in the 1970s, and ceased making flat-panel displays for computers in the 1990s. However, O'Connor said the company continued its research program in laboratories here and in Phoenix. Barry Young, vice president of DisplaySearch, a flat panel display market research and consulting company in Texas, said carbon nanotubes make superior TV images because they "are near perfect conductors, and can emit electrons efficiently when sufficient current is passed." He said Samsung, SDI and ITRI have all built carbon nanotube prototypes, but have had quality problems. They slather a carbon nanotube paste on glass, a process compared to putting peanut butter on bread. But not all the carbon tubes line up in the same direction using that slapdash technique. Young said Moto's breakthrough involves a catalyst that can be placed on glass. The result is uniform and accurate positioning of the nanotubes. He said if one nanotube fails, another is there as a backup. "Motorola has also figured out a way to ensure that a very high percentage of the electrons hit the proper phosphor dot." He noted that the approach still has to be demonstrated in mass production. O'Connor said the nano-emissive technology using cathode ray display in a flat-screen format produces images with better brightness, contrast, color and viewing angle than plasma or LCDs. The technology has other potential applications, such as large screens for sports stadiums and billboard advertising, as well as use in devices to detect and eradicate infectious microbes, and also in fuel and solar cells, ultra-small transistors and memory chips. "The technology is ready to deliver now," said O'Connor. Motorola will be presenting its prototype May 22 at the Society for Information Display International Symposium in Boston. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.