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  • Fibers Yield Efficient Displays

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2001
Ken Zetie

EDINBURGH, UK -- Today's power-hungry laptops can run for only a few hours before they've eaten their way through a full battery. The main culprit is the display, which must be powered to overcome ambient light. That could be set to change, courtesy of a light-harvesting screen developed by Freelight Systems Ltd.

One of the directors of Freelight, which is a spin-off of Napier University, saw the potential of a light-gathering plastic. Fibers extruded from the plastic gather light along their length and emit it at their tips.

The monitor requires a liquid crystal display to turn the fibers on and off, so it is not quite a free lunch, but the effect boosts the brightness of the spots they produce by 30 percent over ambient conditions.

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