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November 1st, 2004

Nanotech on Display

In the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, south of Seoul, South Korea, what looks from a distance like an ordinary 38-inch television plays an endless loop of commercials for James Bond movies. Like the displays increasingly common in American homes, it is a big, flat rectangle of color and motion in a high-tech plastic frame. But unlike the images on an ordinary TV, the ones on this lab model are generated by a layer of carbon nanotubes shooting electrons at a phosphor screen like so many tiny cannonballs. Around the world, television screens are emblems of stodgy domesticity. But this one is in the vanguard of tomorrow’s nanotechnological revolution: it could be the first commercial product that brings nanoscale electronics into the middle-class home.


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