Jan 19, 2017 | By Tess

A team of scientists from the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany is developing a new type of screen for mobile phones, computers, and TVs that is more cost effective and ecological than current color filter and LCD screens. The screen, which is made from a hybrid material that consists of luminescent proteins, is constructed with the help of a novel 3D printing method. The research study surrounding the 3D printed luminescent screen was published in the Advanced Functional Materials journal under the title “Micropatterned Down-Converting Coating for White Bio-Hybrid Light-Emitting Diodes”.

Currently, most phones, laptops, computers, and TVs function using liquid crystal displays (LDCs). LCD screens depend on artificial LED-based light (light-emitting diodes), which offer both quality (in terms of image) and energy efficiency. There are significant downsides to using LCD and LED displays, however, namely that the color filters necessary for them are expensive, the materials are difficult to recycle, and brightness and contrast levels are limited.

Color filter with green and red luminescent proteins 3D printed on a microgrid structure

To address these issues, and to offer an alternative to current screens, a team of scientists led by Spanish researcher Rubén D. Costa have devised a new type of screen display made up primarily of luminescent proteins. As Costa explains, “The proteins have a photoluminescence quantum yield of more than 75%. High efficiency is guaranteed. In addition, they have a low emission bandwidth (30-50 nm), ensuring high color quality and degradation does not produce significant color changes.”

According to a study published last year, the scientists used the luminescent proteins in two parts of the new display system. First, they integrated a Bio-LED with variously colored luminescent proteins into the screen’s backlighting. And second, they were able to use the proteins in lieu of inorganic phosphorus, an expensive and rare material that is used in current LED display systems.

Even more recently, however, the scientists unveiled a new development in their project: a protein-based color filter, made with the help of additive manufacturing. To make the color filter, the team was able to store the proteins in a polymetric matrix with micrometric resolution using a 3D printing technique. This technique allows the proteins to maintain both their luminescent properties and optimum stability. Additionally, because the 3D printed protein filters are not stiff or rigid, they have the potential to be integrated into devices that require flexibility.

Diagram of a screen with luminescent protein-based color filters and backlighting

Costa commented on the new development, saying: “This color filter meets the necessary requirement to improve displays currently being used in terms of contrast and brightness, within quality standards demanded across the market. This new material will allow for the development of energy-efficient Bio-displays for TVs and mobile telephones, with low production costs, high image quality and ecologically sustainability.”

According to the scientists, their work could be used in the manufacturing of new, more cost-efficient and ecological screens sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Image credit: Katharina Weber



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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yzorg wrote at 1/19/2017 4:48:26 PM:

A team of scientists from the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany. Infographics in spanic?!?

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