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Nano Light-Emitting Fibers In the Lab

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-apply-an-electric-field dept.

Science 67

moscowde writes "Researchers at Cornell University have created a so-called Nano-Lamp — a microscopic collection of light-emitting fibers with dimensions of only a few hundred nanometers. The fibers are made of a polymer spiked with ruthenium molecules in a process dubbed 'electrospinning.' The bright spots on the fibers are smaller than the wavelength of the light they emit. The nanofiber glows bright orange when exposed to an electric field and can be seen in the dark with the naked eye. A professor at Princeton University called this 'a breakthrough in the way nanosize light sources are made.' Since the nanofibers are flexible, they could potentially be used in clothing or bendable computer displays."

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Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19006995)

> The bright spots on the fibers are smaller than the wavelength of the light they emit.

That's interesting...

Anyway, next-gen computer displays, anyone?

Re:Light (3, Interesting)

fireslack (1039158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007045)

Why not cover an entire wall with this stuff? throw in some nano-speakers for the ultimate home entertainment center.

Re:Light (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007157)

Nah, that's too easy. How about making sheets of these with built-in IR sensors that adjust their brightness when someone walks by? Or solar cells and a battery?

Re:Light (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007367)

Why not cover an entire wall with this stuff? throw in some nano-speakers for the ultimate home entertainment center.

Maybe offtopic, but that sounded SO SIMILAR to Farenheit 451... remember when Montag's wife asked him to put a new television in the last wall of their bedroom? *shudder*

Re:Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007259)

>> they could potentially be used in clothing

Oh yeah, right away: whatever the latest tech product is - "let's use it in clothing (so that the rich purposeless-people can look pretty)".

Is he deliberately that shallow, or maybe it's just the Princeton prof taking a dig at Cornell?

I don't get it (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007683)

1) take any fluorescent or electro luminescent material
2) put down a drop of it smaller than a wavelength
3) excite it with UV light or electrons
4) viola and arbitrarily small light source much smaller than a wavelength

Coat the tip of any nano fiber this way and it's still true.

Wha's the big deal? Atoms emit light from source smaller than a wavelength all the time.

What's tricky is that short of negative index materials you can't propagate light or confine light beyond the near field in areas less than the wavelength squared (or thereabouts). This is not to say that light guides can't be smaller than the wavelength because some guides don't actually confine the light inside.

TFA does not give me enough info to see if they are beating this last effect.

Re:I don't get it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19009243)

4) viola and arbitrarily small light source much smaller than a wavelength
So, you are saying that violas are a side product of lamps? From the comments on Slashdot I have concluded that there are quite a few processes which produce violas as leftovers. Makes you wonder how it will affect the future of music industry, doesn't it?

Au revolver, mes amies!

Mee not uh-destand yow language, mistle! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19013103)

Vee-ow-lah? Wot kshind of towk is uh-dat?

Bendable screens (5, Interesting)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007019)

Four questions about bendable screens (which I love the idea of. I would have to update my laptop if they come out with those.) I am not a scientist, so I have no clue what the answers could be.

  1. Since we don't have LED monitors yet, only plasma, DLP, CRT and LCD, would we actually be able to make Nano-light fiber monitors
  2. 100 volts of electricity to make light that can only be seen in a dark room? Would we be able to power this via a battery for any length of time, and would I get electricuted if I dropped it?(1)
  3. Is there any degree of control for which elements in the strand light up?
  4. Are we limited to monochrome screens, or will we use three elements (Lithium, Copper and Cobolt??) for RGB?

Re:Bendable screens (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007205)

For bendable LCD screens, look at this article ( http://www.physorg.com/news5142.html [physorg.com] ).

1. This is not true. If you have a LG, Samsung, Motorola cell phone, then you are using the current technology, OLED (organic LEDs). Please look-up Samsung. On the "open market," Samsung has released their OLED screens (2005; http://www.physorg.com/news5318.html [physorg.com] ). A possible outcome for the technology presented here is increasing the number of pixels/cm, smaller screen devices.

2. See item before, cell phones uses lithium batteries that last for about 2-6 hours depending on type of OLED screen. The next generation will use even less energy and possibly last for 8-12 hours, see Samsung.

3. Yes, see item 1.

4. No, see item 1.

Re:Bendable screens (3, Informative)

dissy (172727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007265)

100 volts of electricity to make light that can only be seen in a dark room? Would we be able to power this via a battery for any length of time, and would I get electricuted if I dropped it?

The fluorescent backlighting in your current laptop requires much more than this to light up right now, usually in the range of 400 - 10000 volts.

So scale down that voltage to this 'high' voltage of 100v, and compare to your current battery life and frequency of getting shocked when you drop it.

Re:Bendable screens (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008055)

100 volts of electricity to make light that can only be seen in a dark room? Would we be able to power this via a battery for any length of time, and would I get electricuted[sic] if I dropped it?

Voltage != Power. Power is voltage times current (amps). Increased voltage is not directly connected to power usage, it all depends how much current goes with it. Current CCFL laptop display lights use voltages usually > 1000 volts without any problems with battery life or electrocution hazards.

Re:Bendable screens (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19010139)

Eh? Those CCFL lamps are one of the most power hungry devices on modern laptops, which is why there's been such a push to get them replaced with LEDs (Which operate at normal voltages for Electronics, and batteries). I understand your point, but there are generally problems with efficiency when you start having to convert a 5V or maybe 10V or 12V or so battery source to voltages that high. Inefficiencies in the electronics end up being additional major power users in themselves.

Re:Bendable screens (2, Interesting)

Agripa (139780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19011965)

Fluorescent tubes are still more efficient then high power LEDs so even with the converter losses and lower efficiency of space constrained cold cathode tubes, it will be still be a while before improved LED technology catches up. Where LEDs really pay off is in smaller form factors where the disadvantage of high voltage wiring and the space needed for the converter can not be accepted. The real gain will happen if any of the emissive technology displays can become viable since they do not have to discard a major portion of their light with filters.

I have noticed LED back lights becoming available in desktop LCD displays where power is not as significant an issue.

Re:Bendable screens (2, Interesting)

Ignorance Enabled (1097875) | more than 7 years ago | (#19010339)

Voltage != Power. Power is voltage times current (amps). Increased voltage is not directly connected to power usage, it all depends how much current goes with it. Current CCFL laptop display lights use voltages usually > 1000 volts without any problems with battery life or electrocution hazards.

We're talking a bendable screen here, and average personal intelligence. I'd never take a laptop anywhere it could get wet, but say I had something resembling a piece of paper--I know I'll end up treating it like one every so often. As things get less klunky, they need to also get more dummy resistant. As an over-obvious example, I wonder how many people accidentally drowned their phones before cell phones came out!... scratch that thought.. the number would be too large for me to maintain my withering dignity.

Re:Bendable screens (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19014253)

More likely, nano-scale light fibres might be used in switching very small optical devices. Imagine if two nano light fibres were aligned such that a signal could be injected, would the additional photons be enough to raise the threshold of the original signal such that it could then emit a signal through an end junction that it ordinarily wouldn't? Sounds like an optical transistor to me.

Off Topic/Racist comment (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007033)

Mark me on this. These fibers will be included in hair weaves and seen frequently in clubs.

Re:Off Topic/Racist comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007137)

Mood merkins with better than 1080p resolution!

Re:Off Topic/Racist comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007183)

How is that racist?

Re:Off Topic/Racist comment (3, Funny)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007337)

How is that racist?

He must be referring to discrimination against light-haired people...

Re:Off Topic/Racist comment (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007767)

These fibers will be included in hair weaves and seen frequently in clubs.

Screw that. I want them woven into women's stockings to look like airport landing lights for...

Oops. I probably shouldn't have said that out loud. Never mind...

Re:Off Topic/Racist comment (1, Redundant)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007781)

These fibers will be included in hair weaves and seen frequently in clubs.

Screw that! I want them woven into women's stockings to look like airport landing lights for...

Oops. I probably shouldn't have said that out loud. Never mind...

Re:Off Topic/Racist comment (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008579)

Picture this: William Shatner wearing a light emitting toupee.

alright guys..... (3, Funny)

cyberbob2351 (1075435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007041)

Lets just get the preliminaries out of the way...
  • Will it run linux?
  • Welcome our new nano-pixel hi-res overlords
  • I'm still stuck on CRT technology you insensitive clod!

Re:alright guys..... (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007227)

you forgot...

In Soviet Russia Nano Fibers light YOU

1. Develop light emitting nano fibers
2. License tech to advertisers & t-shirt manufacturers
3. ?????
4. Profit!

Re:alright guys..... (1)

iamnothere900 (1098065) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007497)

I'm still stuck on CRT technology you insensitive clod!
You crazy young'uns, my abacus will outlast you all! Now get off my lawn!

Lest we forget... (0, Offtopic)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008001)

The fibers will be woven into ribbons and tied in the manes of ponies. Lots and lots of ponies. OMG, PONIES, you insensitive clods!!!

flexible displays (2, Interesting)

drDugan (219551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007055)

i want to see curved displays - like a giant earth globe/sphere that is a display, or a mounted movable sphere you can be inside of, with your head at the center that displays inward to the viewer. you run around inside and the globe spins, moving you in a virtual environment - 3D WOW fun!

Re:flexible displays (3, Informative)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007521)

I'm pretty sure you could do that with current technology, as none of that requires anything to actually bend during use. Come to think of it, you can also bend OLED displays.

Re:flexible displays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19009201)

i want to see curved displays
You could go to antique shop and buy an old TV-set for yourself. Wasn't it just recently when everyone buying displays wanted the new, really flat ones? Besides, it would be quite difficult to make a good globe out of these bendable screen sheets (consider wrapping a ball with a regular, flat sheet of paper).

Re:flexible displays (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19009203)

"i want to see curved displays - like a giant earth globe/sphere that is a display, or a mounted movable sphere you can be inside of, with your head at the center that displays inward to the viewer. you run around inside and the globe spins, moving you in a virtual environment - 3D WOW fun!"

You mean something like this? - http://www.gizmag.com/go/4833/ [gizmag.com]

I've seen an earlier version that instead of a clear sphere with the user wearing LCD glasses, the sphere is opaque and they projected the virtual world on the outside of the sphere.

I am interested to see how this turns out. (1)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007071)

And then again, I'm not.

Can you imagine the uses for bendable computer displays? Some would be amazing. You could have a roll-up monitor in your pocket like you see in science fiction movies.

Or there could be people wearing clothing made out of them covered in advertisements... That's what I'm afraid of. Imagine walking down the street and you see something bright coming towards you. You squint your eyes. As it gets close, you can make out the words emblazoned all over the body like a battle flag.

Re:I am interested to see how this turns out. (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007143)

But also, they will give us contact lens screens that give us the ability to edit the reality that we see, so you can just paste whatever you want over crazy stupid advertising shirts.

Clothes (2, Interesting)

blhack (921171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007079)

I was telling an engineer friend of mine that if she could make clothes that had dynamic writing on them, she would make a fortune. Imagine, a t-shirt that says: GOT ROOT? at one point, and GOT ROOT! at another ;-) Or a tshirt with a short animation playing across it. Instead of riding' spinnaz', rappers could make songs about wearin' scrollaz'!

Re:Clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007097)

I, for one, do not look forward to clothing that displays Ridin' Spinnas [ytmnsfw.com] .

Re:Clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007193)

That is sick dude.

Definitly not work safe!

Re:Clothes (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007349)

Hence the "ytmnsfw" address and the age check.

But just linking to meatspin would have gotten the point across just as well, without the need to actually find out what it is.

*pukes*

Re:Clothes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007185)

Something like this?

http://www.paramountzone.com/tqualizer-tshirt.htm [paramountzone.com]

Re:Clothes (1)

Ltar (1010889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007377)

I've seen these shrits, before. they're pretty underwhelming. it doesn't give the "beat box" effect, it just flashes periodically, it's difficult to tell if it's actually lighting up to different levels. also, the screen doesn't bend, so it's... stiff. and dorky looking.

Re:Clothes (2, Interesting)

Angry Black Man (533969) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008535)

so something like this:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yd99gyE4jCk [youtube.com]

Re:Clothes (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19009717)

Those people at Royal Dutch Phillips can do anything cant they.

Re:Clothes (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007319)

i can imagine this being advertised in thinkgeek.org...
a t-shirt that can play pacman!

Animation advertisements are dead (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19009571)

Or a tshirt with a short animation playing across it


Yeah, like Altavista [altavista.com] was doing until they were forced to copy the Google clean visual because people have already become saturated with advertisements.

cpus (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007145)

Put these right on the CPU and watch the ping drop and bandwidth increase.

World's smallest incandescant bulb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007159)

Seems like it uses a lot of power...100v through a 250 nm fiber...no wonder it glows!

Nano led-arrays sound way cooler, to me

Re:World's smallest incandescant bulb? (2, Informative)

spitefulcrow (713858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007565)

Voltage is not the same thing as power. Power is the product of voltage with current, so these could use a small amount of current at 100 V and not dissipate that much power.

fashion (3, Funny)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007161)

Somehow I don't think this [wikimedia.org] will ever be a fashion statement.

Re:fashion (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007203)

On the other hand, he could be at home standing in front of some sleazy bar.

Re:fashion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19012445)

OMG, it's Karl Rove!

Luxo, III ? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007171)

Researchers at Cornell University have created a so-called Nano-Lamp...

...and his big brother is named Luxo Jr. [pixar.com] Researchers are now working on a nano-beachball for him to play with.

thats nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19007335)

http://www.tronguy.net/TRONcostume/ [tronguy.net]

I'm still amazed this guy was stupid enough to do a side view in the leotard.....he's a leotard reotard...

"potentially be used in clothing" (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007385)

I guess... if you want clothing that glows faintly orange in the dark...

Re:"potentially be used in clothing" (2, Informative)

RSKennan (835119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008877)

Yeah, people who ride bikes, run, work on the highways, or do just about anything at night where you can get hit by a car would find it useless. I think it would be useful to anyone who wears an orange vest, except for hunters.

Wait, what? (1)

The Mysterious X (903554) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007437)

The light-emitting spots on the fibers measure less than 250 nm in diameter which makes this light source smaller than the wavelength of light that they emit - 600nm

What is new about this? Electrons emit light too; they're 1.0 × 10^-6 nm in diameter, over a million times smaller?
Anyone have a link to something a little more in depth than the blog post that is TFA that explains this a little better?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007875)

It doesn't really make sense. I think they're just trying to give a reference for how small this thing is.

Computer displays??? (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007561)

Right, because the one thing we've all been craving is 394 million dpi displays. :-P

Re:Computer displays??? (1)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19007913)

Well, due to limitations and a rush to bring a product to market, we'll only get 300DPI screens, but that's fine for me. The bigger problem is only having shades of orange.

Re:Computer displays??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19010747)

Personally, I'd be rather pleased to own the world's smallest flashlight.

Of course, having to use a micromanipulator to hit the switch would be a drawback.

As long as there's no chance of RuO4 rubbing off (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008519)

Or newly broken nano-lamp will lead to "Hello my mutant, hello my carcass"...
See Ruthenium Tetroxide [wikipedia.org]

Re:As long as there's no chance of RuO4 rubbing of (1)

moscowde (1096675) | more than 7 years ago | (#19008543)

They actually used ruthenium(II) tris(bipyridine)/polyethylene oxide mixtures.

Re:As long as there's no chance of RuO4 rubbing of (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#19016989)

Just don't spill you're drink down your shirt, unless you avoid alcohol altogether.

Less heavy, larger Mooninites!! (1)

VorlonFog (948943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19009763)

New larger road-side displays of the Mooninites giving the finger will be distributed very, very soon.

Clothing Displays (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19010321)

Even more advertisements every where i walk. Great going guys.

Just what the bees need! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19016773)

Nano turn signals!
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