Startup uses phase-change material for displays, glazing

Startup uses phase-change material for displays, glazing

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The material is essentially the same as that used on rewritable DVDs where changes in the refractive index of a thin layer of the material is used to denote a one or a zero for the purpose of digital storage.

Bodle, founded by Oxford University Professor Harish Bhaskaran and his postdoctoral researcher Peiman Hosseini, who serves as CTO of the company, want to use the same principle to manipulate the colour that is reflected off a surface and thereby to create a non-volatile, paper-like display. As the display would only consume power when it changes, for many uses it would represent a lower power option than active displays, such as LCD and OLED, that stop operating in the absence of power.

The company claims to have demonstrated pixel sizes at sub-100nm and a rich colour gamut that can exceed that of other display technologies. The ability to characterize the materials with nanoscale pixels opens up the possibility of  ‘smart’ glasses, ‘smart’ contact lenses and artificial retina devices. Because the technology is reflective it can be viewed in bright lighting conditions and it is also capable of microsecond switching speeds making video displays possible.

The company also foresees the application of its switchable GST film to thermal management in glazing. The technology could be configured to save energy in hot weather by reflecting infrared radiation back into the atmosphere and in cold weather by absorbing hear and releasing inside buildings. The technology could also be used to manipulate light at specific wavelengths as part of security technology, the company claims.

David Fyfe, former CEO, who serves as executive chairman of Oxford Photovoltaics Ltd. is joining the company as executive chairman.

“This technology is capable of providing vivid colour displays which appear similar to paper, yet with very high resolution. It is also capable of rendering extremely high-resolution videos that can be seen in bright sunlight,” said Professor Bhaskaran, in a statement issued by Oxford University.

The company has received backing from Isis Inovation the universities commercialization company.

It is not clear how much funding Bodle has received or whether the company will pursue a technology licensing or product business model. Calls to the company were not returned.

Related links and articles:

Nature article

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