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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > The Future of Nanotechnology > Small Scale Nanotechnology Is Improving Mobile Devices in a Big Way

Amanda Richter

Nanotechnology has recently improved the picture of LED displays on mobile devices by 400 hundred percent.

October 16th, 2014

Small Scale Nanotechnology Is Improving Mobile Devices in a Big Way

The mastermind behind this improvement is Stephen Chou, an electrical engineering professor at Princeton University, who has been making waves in the nanotechnology industry as of late. Here are just a few reasons why nanotechnology is important.

It's Changing the Rules
Chou is deeply involved in everything regarding nanotechnology. He is the head of a group called NanoStructure Laboratory (NSL) at Princeton and is a pioneer, world leader and inventor. He has set out to develop new nanotechnologies to improve today's electronics, optics, optoelectronics, biology and magnetics by making them smaller, better and more affordable. Not only has his group improved picture quality in LED devices, it also improved the brightness and efficiency by 57 percent, according to Princeton University. Chou and his group were able to accomplish this by manipulating light on a scale smaller than one wavelength, a technique which Chou describes as changing the rules on the ways light is manipulated.

LED is more favorable than traditional light such as incandescent and fluorescent because it lasts longer, is more efficient and more compact. Chou explains that an LED device can trap much of the light inside its structure, which makes them a design challenge, and light extraction is the holy grail of LED lighting.

However, Chou and his group managed to find an alternative route, which helps to get away from the use of metal reflectors, lenses and light-absorbing materials that reduce its brightness and efficiency by half. NSL created a nanotech structure called plasmonic cavity with sub wavelength hole-array, or PlaCSH. One of the best features of this new technology is that power consumption will be reduced, thus both an LED device's displays and its battery life will improve.

Nanotechnology With Today's Phones
Chou's resume is impressive. He is the inventor of (LISA), which is a process where a mask is used to control the formation of micro and nano structures in a thin polymer film. His LISA technique has helped advance organic electronic and opto-electronics devices. He also sports a long list of inventions within the nanomagnetic and nanoelectronics field that have put transistors in computer chips on a nanoscale that are much faster, more compact and cheaper to produce than traditional methods.

His recent work is just another example of how nanotechnology is improving our devices for both efficiency, features and style. Today's iPhones will be seeing such nanotech features such as scratch-proof and waterproof coatings and chargers that can completely charge mobile devices in under a minute.

Mobile devices that include nanotechnology will see brighter images, enjoy wider viewing angles and feel lighter than what they are. They also will have better picture quality and a longer battery life. Chou's nanotechnology breakthroughs extend over a broad range of consumer products, materials and equipment, but the mobile device market has seen dramatic improvement and will continue to do so as more and more mobile devices incorporate nanotechnology.

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