Researchers at the University of Texas have managed to come up with a production process for sheets made of nanotubes.
Nanotubes are important in nanotechnology. Mostly because they are extremely strong and very conductive. This is the kind of perfection that is achieveable when you get control of things at the molecular level. They can function as basic building blocks for all sorts of future nanotech-products, such as:
- Ultra-hard materials. Approximately 100 times stronger than steel, but 10 times lighter.
- Space Elevator Cables
- Molecular CPU Circuits. Orders of magnitude faster, low-powered, and easily cooled. See my previous post on The Future Of Computers for more information.
Even though there are many more examples to list, the implications of just these three are already vast enough to be in awe of for a few days in a row. I’ll leave it up to the reader to ponder on this for a while.
I have been following news on nanotechnology for years. They have quite a history. And it sure is beautiful to see all this technology growing up. At first, it was all about finding a way to create a nanotube. When that was done, it was all about creating longer nanotubes. After that, it was all about having nanotubes self-assemble into complex structures.
After all these years, we are at the level of mass producing nanotube-sheets on demand. This is quite a milestone, which will eventually lead to products that are orders of magnitude more impressive than those of today. Oh, and it also ensures that progress in this field will keep accelerating exponentially.
The article mentions the possibility of using this technology to produce the displays of the future. And it could possibly happen very fast, as well:
Large, transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes can now be produced at lightning speed. The new technique should allow the nanotubes to be used in commercial devices from heated car windows to flexible television screens.
“Rarely is a processing advance so elegantly simple that rapid commercialization seems possible,” says Ray Baughman, a chemist from the University of Texas at Dallas, whose team unveils the ribbon in this week’s Science.
Display technology produced with nanotubes would be very impressive:
The hope is that TV screens and those monster monitors on millions of desktop computers worldwide, which are TV-like CRTs, can be squashed into thin, widely affordable nanotube display panes. Compared with CRTs, and perhaps even with the liquid-crystal displays that are standard in today’s laptops, nanotube displays could produce crisper images while using less power and could ultimately be cheaper to make.
I would like to add that it is also possible to create rollable displays, that you can take with you everywhere you go. Those rollable displays would sure help out getting the portable computing boom off the ground.
More on mobile displays is upcoming in another post on The Future Of Computers. You don’t want to miss that one!