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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Intelligent Image Displays


Current generation high-resolution displays are bulky, expensive and complex. They require control interfaces, most commonly a personal computer and a keyboard, for image storage and operation. Consequently, their use is often limited to certain sectors of society. A means of widening the use of displays is to use stand-alone, inexpensive "Intelligent Image Displays" (IID's) where information stored within the screen itself can be easily accessed through simple touchpad or remote sensing methods. The screen should be cheap and portable e.g. in the form of books or maps.
The consortium's objectives are to overcome several factors which to-date have prevented IID development. The step change in technology required to achieve these devices involves the unique combination of supercritical fluid science and mesoporous materials technology to confine semiconductor and magnetic materials in 2D ordered mesoporous films.

The overall objective of this proposal is to provide a step-change in technology using supercritical fluid (SCF) science and mesoporous material technology to facilitate the development of Intelligent Image Displays (IID's).

These devices would:
(a) effectively remove the requirement for interfaces such as personal computers. The IID's could be used in everyday objects such as books and maps, (b) facilitate consumer-friendly computing devices for untrained personnel and encourage the widespread use of high-tech equipment. The consortium believe that these achievements might be possible using mesoporous templates to organise SCF nanowires into useful device architectures.

The targets identified in a one year assessment project are:
- to fabricate robust mesoporous films,
- to optimise current SCF techniques to grow nanowires of silicon in the mesoporous arrays,
- to grow magnetic mesoporous wires and
- a modelling study to understand the properties of the mesoporous nanowires.

The realisation of "stand-alone" Intelligent Image Displays (IID's) can only be achieved through the development of technology that allows several thousand images to be stored in one device.
The consortium believes that this might be achievable by using mesoporous templates to organise nanowires, grown in supercritical fluids (SCF), into useful architectures. The overall methodology devised to attain the objectives is based on a joint labaratory/microscopy/modelling approach.

The project will be performed in four integrated Workpackages (WP):
WP1: Mesoporous Preparation: Whilst thin films of mesoporous silica can be formed at silicon substrates it is unclear if these are chemically and thermally robust to withstand a SCF environment. The aim of this work is to fabricate mesofilms with variable pore densities and wall-thickness that are stable under SCF conditions.
WP2: Silicon Wire Formation: Optimisation of SCF techniques is required to ensure that growth of nanowires occurs within the pores of the mesoporous films. Electron-microscopy will be used to confirm the formation of these "mesowires".
WP3: Magnetic Wire Formation: Whilst our initial experiments will concentrate on methods for growing silicon nanowires, we will also endeavour to grow magnetic mesowires.
WP4: Theoretical Predictions: The general aim is to assess the feasibility of mesowires for IID devices based on an understanding of their quantum and magnetic properties.

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