Nano-pixels, an innovation recently developed by Oxford University, may eventually make 4K HD seem archaic.
Can you see the images above? What if every image you are seeing is actually thousands of times smaller than the width your own hair? In fact these are just some of the few ‘nano-pixel’ images developed by scientists at Oxford University to demonstrate their latest research.
The center of their research focused on the optical and electrical properties of what is called as phase change materials, or materials that are capable of switching between amorphous and crystalline states. As briefly explained by the official press release, the researchers found out that by stacking 7-nanometer thick layers of the phase change material GST between two transparent electrodes, it can produce visual patterns, hence images, like the ones above.
Now, forming still images is one thing, but the research specifically stated that the microscopic stacks can be made to be electrically switched on and off. With a few specific adjustments, it can also be made to produce different colors. This opens the exciting possibility of creating new types of screens that would make even 4K HD seem low quality. A single 300×300 nm pixel would be its basic image building block.
Aside from extremely high-resolution displays, the concept also brings up the possibility of developing artificial retinas that could finally function like the real thing, by using the nano-pixels as photoreceptors. Also, being just a few nanometers thick, it may also have several innovative uses in current smart film technologies.
Of course, given that the research was just announced very recently, it is still very unlikely that the technology is at mass production level. But the fact is it now exists. In fact, in light of the technology’s potential, the Oxford researchers have already filed a patent for it with the assistance of Isis Innovation, in hopes of being able to showcase the concept to potential investors.
Source: University of Oxford