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Flexible large area display using nanotechnology light emitting devices


The NANOPAGE project will focus on the development of a flexible large area display made by assembly of microCRTs into a polymer canvas. Those microCRTs are millimetre size cold-emission cathode ray tubes, used as elementary color dots, 3 microCRTs, red, green and blue, making a complete pixel. Those microCRTs use nanometer scale Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) as cold electron sources. The first type of microCRTs, with a 3 mm diameter, will allow building a 4x3 m panel with SVGA (800 x600) resolution.

The main tasks are:
- to industrialize a low-cost lab proven technique for controlled growth of vertically aligned CNTs.
- to develop highly automated assembly techniques to manufacture the miniature vacuum tubes in large quantities and to mount them on the polymer substrate.
- to develop an innovative addressing scheme, where a miniature microchip is mounted on each microCRT.

This scheme allows to:
- bend, cut or repair the display as there is no peripheral drivers
- control locally the microCRTs light emission
- correct non uniformities due to manufacturing or aging.

Cost targets are integral part of the project objectives, to insure a very competitive pricing of the end product. We will carefully consider the product recycling and avoid any use of lead, mercury or other toxic materials. It is expected that the low cost and flexibility of such a display product will significantly increase the large area display market as it should open up new applications which are today limited by the performance of existing large area display solutions.

As those microCRTs are small tubes, manufacturing does not require a large size reactor, oven or other expensive equipment, so the capital investment for a complete line is moderate and modular, adjustable to the production volume. This limited and progressive funding requirement, together with automation, gives a significant chance to implement the manufacturing line in Europe, as anticipated.

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