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June 3rd, 2007
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays are currently found on mobile phones and digital cameras. But in the future, manufacturers expect bigger, bendable, and completely transparent versions. They envision bright maps on visors and windshields, television screens built into eyeglasses, and roll-up, see-through computer screens. And although the OLEDs themselves can be transparent, to make a clear display, the transistors that control each display's OLED, or pixel, need to be transparent as well.
Researchers at Purdue University and Northwestern University have now made flexible, see-through transistors using zinc-oxide and indium-oxide nanowires. By contrast, the amorphous or polycrystalline silicon transistors used in existing displays are not transparent. The new transistors also perform better than their silicon counterparts and are easier to fabricate on flexible plastic.
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