Nanotube 'Breakthrough' is Good News for Flat-Panels

A new and relatively inexpensive way to embed electricity-conducting nanotubes into flexible plastic could lead to less costly flat-panel HD and other displays with as much as 10 times better resolution than current technologies.

The innovation is the brainchild of Yung Joon Jung of Northeastern University in Boston and his colleagues, and reported in the March issue of Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Nanotubes are tiny hollow cylinders whose walls are made from carbon atoms. Theoretically, they are 250 times stronger than steel and can carry an electrical current three times higher than can copper wires. "Carbon nanotubes are a perfect conductor. There's virtually no resistance with sending an electron through a carbon nanotube," Barry Young of analyst firm DisplaySearch told the Discovery Channels.

Electronic devices with carbon nanotube components would only require low power to run and would be expected to last much longer than conventional technology. Only time will tell if and when this reported innovation will translate into positive real-world results for manufacturers and consumers.