Scientists create smallest pixels applicable in large-scale flexible displays

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WASHINGTON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Scientists from the University of Cambridge created the smallest yet pixels, a million times smaller than those in smartphones, that can be used for large-scale flexible displays.

The study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances reported the color pixels based on tiny particles of gold, each a few billionths of a meter across.

The scientists sprayed those tiny grains on top of a mirror-coated surface, allowing the rocks of gold trapping light in the gap in between.

They also surrounded each grain with a thin, sticky polymer coating which changes chemically when electrically switched, causing the pixel to change color across the spectrum, according to the study.

"The strange physics of light on the nanoscale allows it to be switched, even if less than a tenth of the film is coated with our active pixels," said Jeremy Baumberg at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory, who led the research.

Those pixels can be seen in bright sunlight and do not need constant power to keep their set color, so they have a good energy performance that make large areas feasible and sustainable.

The pixels can be used to make large-area flexible display screens that change color like skin of octopus, in a much less expensive way. The pixels are compatible with roll-to-roll fabrication on flexible plastic films, therefore dramatically reducing their production cost.

They can also be applied for architecture capable of switching off solar heat load, active camouflage clothing and coatings, and tiny indicators for internet-of-things devices. Enditem

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