Print 32 comment(s) - last by ZmaxDP.. on Nov 26 at 10:38 AM

Rumored to be the next step in flat panel displays, FED-TVs may become an affordable reality, thanks to research on carbon nanotubes.

Though the technology has been around for many years, Field Emission Display (FED) televisions are not something the common consumer would probably know about. While FED-TVs promise to be the next generation of HDTV displays, brighter and more efficient than plasma, more reliable than LCD, and much less bulky than CRT, the high cost of production has kept the technology from reaching the consumer. Enter our friend, the carbon nanotube.

Research by a group of universities, including University of Latvia, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University of London, and Mid Sweden University, has demonstrated the conductive and field emission properties of single and multi walled carbon nanotubes. The researchers used a transmission electron microscope-scanning tunneling microscope to collect the data from nanotubes that were grown by chemical vapor and supercritical fluid deposition techniques. They found that the properties of the nanotubes were dependent on the structure of the tube.

The research is important for TV manufacturers because it will allow them to craft nanotubes with the best possible characteristics for use in FED-TVs.

FED-TVs work most similarly to a blend of plasma and CRT display technology. FED panels use a cathode tube and phosphorous type system like CRTs, while maintaining the matrix type arrangement of plasma's gas and phosphorous single pixel system.

Rather than a controlled beam stimulating a phosphorous coating to excite it to emit light, CNT FED displays use the nanotubes as electron emitters, stimulating the phosphor directly. This is more similar in panel mechanics to how plasma displays use charged gas to emit ultra-violet light which in turn stimulates the phosphors in each of its pixels.

Since each pixel in a FED display is backed by many nanotubes, even if 20 percent of the tubes behind a pixel fail for some reason, it will not suffer from the infamous dead pixel that LCDs are notorious for. FED-TVs should also pack a response time better than plasmas, which is already more than fast enough, so fast-motion image blurring should not be an issue. Add to this the flat panel display form factor, and it's hard to argue that FED-TVs could be the next great thing for consumers who want the best possible image.

As production methods for these displays becomes easier, due to research like what is being done at these universities, cost will come down. Consumers may eventually see Sony debuting a, what is hopefully more than an 11 inch, FED-TV that will impress like the XEL-1 OLED TV.

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By oTAL on 11/23/2007 1:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds promising, but on paper I believe OLEDs appear superior and have further applications. Flexibility, potential for thinner display, better efficiency, etc.
On the other hand these will not suffer from dead pixels which might be a big problem in OLEDs. Furthermore these will probably have longer life spans.

Anyway, does anyone know if you are still bombarded by an electron stream with SEDs? It seemed kind of cool to get away from the constant bombardment and change to a display that only emits photons (CRTs vs TFTs). I don't know if cathode rays can be harmful in any way but it does sound better not to get hit with billions of electrons every time you sit close to your display.

By InsaneGain on 11/23/2007 4:31:09 PM , Rating: 5
People are exposed to gamma radiation every single day from natural outdoor exposure. The radiation dose from a chest x-ray is a fraction of the annual naturally occurring background radiation dose. When sitting in front of a CRT, or going outdoors, you would be well advised to wear some form of head covering that will protect you from this radiation. A hat made from aluminum foil is thought by some to be particularly effective.

By Yawgm0th on 11/23/2007 5:19:34 PM , Rating: 1
SED will produce far better color fidelity, blacks, and image quality than OLED. OLED is no more competition than LCD for the mainstream display market. SED displays should one day allow us to finally replace CRTs.

By TSS on 11/23/2007 6:13:49 PM , Rating: 3
FED-tv.... in soviet russia, you watch "big brother"?

By Captain Orgazmo on 11/23/07, Rating: -1
By LogicallyGenius on 11/23/2007 11:43:43 PM , Rating: 1
chill down guys, FED is nothing but SED at nano scales. This is why patents should be banned to promote such innovations

By RubberJohnny on 11/26/2007 3:10:40 AM , Rating: 3
There are two sides to this argument though. Banning patents would undoubtedly help refinement of existing tech but who would put up the funds to research brand new stuff if your competition could quickly reverse engineer it, then copy it?

By LogicallyGenius on 11/26/2007 4:24:52 AM , Rating: 1
Ask Linus Trovalds and Hugo Chavez

By ZmaxDP on 11/26/2007 10:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Linus produced something that has been refined over and over again as the previous poster suggested. Are you seriously suggesting Hugo Chavez should be held up as a positive example of anything? Seriously, look into the man's history and actions a bit before you lump him in with someone like Torvalds who has actually done some good in this world. Hugo is a nut job. Perhaps you should consider changing your SN to IllogicallyInsane, or was the choice an intentional misnomer?

By KristopherKubicki on 11/23/2007 8:56:25 PM , Rating: 3
SED has some advantages over FED, but SED is totally, 100% dead in the water. With Toshiba/Kodak pretty much throwing in the towel, I think it's going to be a long time before someone picks this up.

By 13Gigatons on 11/25/2007 3:44:03 PM , Rating: 5
It was Canon/Toshiba and the problem was not the technology but the bloody lawyers over at nanotech that killed the launch of SED TV's.

By Comdrpopnfresh on 11/23/2007 6:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
Although CRTs and these FEDs (as well as plasma) release electrons... any phosfluorescent device runs on the same premise. Which means the backlight in an lcd (or CFLs)is doing the same (not sure of the orientation though, but I assume the amplitude is less). This is considered "radiation", but so is any emission, from x-rays, microwaves, to visible light (they are all just differing wavelenths of light). Beta (nuclear) radiation is ejected hi-speed electrons which can pierce skin to the level of new cell growth. They travel several feet in open air and can ionize things. This radiation is commonly used in EXIT lights where a battery backup is not useful, and in better-than-indiglo watches that are always luminated. Common beta-radiation emitters are tritium (hydrogen), and amaericum, which is in some smoke detectors (although this also releases sporadic gamma radiation).

By MrPoletski on 11/24/2007 4:08:31 AM , Rating: 5
The electrons released by a CRT, or indeed these FED's will not have anything like the energy of electrons released during beta decay.

In a CRT you have a heater (the bit that glows and produces the heat at the back of a TV). It has about 25,000 volts across it and it gives off electrons that would float around aimlessly if it wasn't for the large electric field designed to propel them to the front of the screen.. using magnetic fields to steer it.

Beta radioactive decay is where a neutron decays into a proton, or vice versa. In a N->P decay a high speed electron is given off, in a P->N decay a high speed positron is given off (yes, that is antimatter). They can travel quite far through air and penetrate the skin. The reason they don't get very far into the skin is because their path becomes erratic as they interact with atom after atom. They travel a feet feet in air yes, but if you allowed a CRT to be filled with air it would not work at all because, like I said, the electrons don't have anything like as much energy or anything like enough to make it through the sea of air molecules.

Most of the 'damage' is done by the energy of the electron. If expose to electrons in itself were harmful then sticking a balloon to a wall by rubbing it on your jumper would be deadly.

As for gamma radiation. every single radioactive source that exists gives off gamma radiation (though it may be low energy enough to be called an X-ray). Gamma radiation is produced when the nucleus of an atom changes, due to either alpha or beta decay, and leaves some of the nuclei inside the atom at a higher than normal energy level - this always happens with alpha and beta decay. The gamma ray is given off when these excited nuclei return to their lower energy level. It is almost exactly the same as the shell model for electrons except the energies involved are much higher and it's kind of a double-shell because there are two types of nuclei, protons and neutrons.

By qwertyz on 11/25/07, Rating: -1
FED? What about Laser?
By Davelo on 11/23/2007 4:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
What happened to Laser TV? I thought Laser was to be the plasma killer?

RE: FED? What about Laser?
By Omega215D on 11/23/2007 5:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
It was reserved for the frickin' sharks....

RE: FED? What about Laser?
By Combatcolin on 11/23/2007 6:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Rear Projection could be where Laser TV comes into play.

Instead of having a big, hot bulb to generate an image - you use a Laser instead.

You still need mirrors, but the picture image is said to be stunning and the power consumption falls a fair bit.

Cheap as well - much cheaper than LCD or Plasma, and RP goes very, very big - 100" is child's play and they weigh bugger all too.

Only issue is size, while much slimmer than CRT's they are deeper than LCD or Plasma.

RE: FED? What about Laser?
By Captain Orgazmo on 11/23/2007 7:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
15 years ago people swore that everyone would soon be watching TV in 3D with VR goggles that would project the image directly on yer retina. The technology exists for so many great display types, but it always comes down to the bottom__l_i_n_e__.

RE: FED? What about Laser?
By rtrski on 11/24/2007 10:30:13 AM , Rating: 2
TI was working on a laser-light-engine for their DLPs for home sets, but I've heard they discontinued all work on it (NOT applicable for projectors, just monitor/TV type boxes). Seems that LCD and plasma both have gotten over a fair number of the limitations that made DLP image quality better (LCD: contrast ratio and viewing angles; plasma: burn in, heat, and lifetime), and both being more or less direct-display and requiring no optics like DLP does, the obsession with "slim" displays means that DLPs aren't doing as well in the market as they were.

(Silly to me, since unless you can retrofit an older house with an inset stereo rack for your AV Receiver, DVD player, et al you still need at least 15" of depth to house those, so why having a display that's less than that is significantly advantageous is beyond me, but then I never did follow fads that well...)

DLP is certainly alive and well at the cinema level, and likely will continue in the projection level, but as far as I know the 'laser' TVs (unless there was another technology planning on using that??) are probably kaput.

RE: FED? What about Laser?
By gman64 on 11/24/2007 5:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
Laser TV isn't dead, they were having some issues with production costs. Laser TV is suppossed to be near the price point of plasma TV's. In fact, Mitsubishi will launch their Laser TV product line with a display in the upcoming CES 2008. See link for more info.

By kontorotsui on 11/23/2007 2:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Weren't CRT obsolete also because they produce radiation?

With these FEDs the user is bombarded again by electrons and whatever else, I suppose?

RE: Radiation?
By AnnihilatorX on 11/23/2007 2:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Radiation wasn't the main reason. When CRT TVs were invented people had been bombarded by radiation for 50 years.

It was obsolete due to reasons of mainly size and bulkiness, reliability and power consumption.

There are still people not swaying away from CRTs due to their flexibility in resolution support and superior image quality (over LCD). Though FED is unlikely to provide the former.

RE: Radiation?
By jajig on 11/23/2007 5:35:48 PM , Rating: 2
Are you trying to say there is a reliability issue with CRTs and that LCD and plasma are more reliable?

RE: Radiation?
By Zoomer on 11/24/2007 10:58:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's why the glass has tons of lead embedded.

The EU should be banned.

Is there something that carbon nanotube CAN'T do?
By nurbsenvi on 11/24/2007 4:45:08 AM , Rating: 3
I can't understand how something can bring so much innovation to so many applications? It almost sounds like a scam...

It has super structural strength super electrical properties super everything

just on top of my head CNT had following possible ,potentially revolutionary, usuage:

1. super heatsink that turns heat energy to sound energy
2. ultra capacitor that can be used as battery that charges instantly and last forever
3. space elevator
4. nano suit (no it's not from the game)

By Cullinaire on 11/24/2007 6:12:05 AM , Rating: 3
It may take decades of research to render it edible.

Hope that answers your question.

Native resolution?
By mrkun on 11/24/2007 2:26:49 AM , Rating: 2
So does this mean we're still screwed if we want to use a resolution other than the monitor's native one (a la LCD)?

RE: Native resolution?
By sheh on 11/25/2007 11:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
My current assumption is that if you have high enough dpi you can scale things and get a decent end result (possibly adding some blur like CRTs seem to do naturally).

A 1600x1200 19" CRT is about 120dpi, while a 1280x1024 19" LCD is 86dpi. Perhaps this assumption could be tested on hi-res notebook monitors: 1920x1200 17" is 133dpi (or even better, with 15.4" it's 147dpi).

Things to look forward to.
By Combatcolin on 11/23/2007 1:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
Futures so bright, gotta wear shades...

By DragonMaster0 on 11/23/2007 3:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
does anyone know if you are still bombarded by an electron stream

You've never been, the front of the screen absorbs them. Apparently, there are a few x-rays on the back and sides of the CRT though,so the front of the screen is the safest place to be.

By KMJFNIGUY on 11/23/2007 8:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Samsung CRT 37' 1080i TV. I like it alot has very good picture quailty. They will be too many choices in about 5 year...OLED,SED,FED,Laser TV,PLasma, LCD, LCOS...I will be upgrading my TV a Samsung HLT6187SAX 61" Slim LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV. I will then wait about 7 years to see and upgrade...

By zinfamous on 11/26/2007 1:43:56 AM , Rating: 2
Go Latvia!!!!

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