Next-gen e-readers: Improved 'peacock' technology could lock in color for high-res displays

Structural color -- that's engineer speak for a reflective display that mimics iridescence. And tech of that very sort could be trickling down into future generations of e-readers, thanks to current research by the University of Michigan. Using the "refined hairline grooves" of a peacock as a template, a research team led by Professor Jay Guo has found success in creating a prototype of one such high-res display by crafting nanoscale metallic grooves on silver-plated glass. Using the CMY color model (cyan, magenta and yellow) as its basis, the team was able to produce blues with a groove measuring 170 x 40 nanometers, reds at 60 nanometers wide and yellows at a width of 90 nanometers -- all with reflected sunlight and unaffected by viewing angles. At the moment, only static images can be reproduced, but Guo and his crew hope to add moving images to the format soon. If and when this reflective display makes it to market, you can surely expect e-reader battery life to go even more of a distance.

Optoacoustics - Cleaving Cells using optoacoustics

Hyoung Won Baac and co-workers from the University of Michigan and the Wellman Center for Photomedicine in the USA report that laser-generated focused ultrasound can be used to perform high-precision, non-contact cleaving of cell clusters. They generated focused ultrasound by firing 6-ns laser pulses (wavelength, 532 nm) onto an optoacoustic lens consisting of a carbon-nanotube—polymer composite film on a concave fused-silica substrate.

Nano Printing Goes Large

A printing technique that could stamp out features just tens of nanometers across at industrial scale is finally moving out of the lab. The new roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography system could be used to cheaply and efficiently churn out nano-patterned optical films to improve the performance of displays and solar cells. This isn’t the first time that roll-to-roll printing has been explored for nanoimprint lithography. But Yong Chen, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, says the Michigan group “has made this process more reliable with lower defect density.”