Colour-changing subpixels could boost display resolution

An increase in display resolution could come from making subpixels change colour. Each pixel in a display is made of one red, one green and one blue subpixel. Therefore if each sub-pixel could change colour, display resolution could increase three times.

That is premise of a paper recently published in the academic journal Nature Communications by researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the USA. The work details how the team developed a colour changing surface, tunable through electrical voltage.

The breakthrough comes from UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center and is the work of Assistant Professor Debashis Chanda and physics doctoral student Daniel Franklin.

In an article on UCF’s website, Chanda explains: “We can make a red subpixel go to blue, for instance. In other displays that is not possible because they need three static colour filters to show the full RGB colour. We don’t need that now; a single subpixel-less pixel can be tuned across a given colour gamut.”

The team claim that aside from increased resolution, their work stands to make an impact in augmented and virtual reality where headsets require a high resolution as they are close to the eye.

Display brightness could increase too as there would no longer be a need to turn off subpixels to display a solid colour.

The researchers now want to scale up displays to bring the technology to the private sector.

The research team also includes Professor Shin-Tson Wu of CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics at UCF, and Russell Frank, an undergraduate researcher in Chanda’s lab.

You can read the research paper published by the scientists at UCF via Nature Communications here.

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