Research NewsTechnology

New Electron Emitters May Slim Down Computer Displays

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Science  30 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5279, pp. 1173-1174
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5279.1173

Summary

Eindhoven, the Netherlands—Behind every desktop computer screen sits a chunky descendant of the first electronic devices ever made, the cathode ray tubes (CRTs). These tubes work well by firing a beam of electrons across a vacuum at the screen, but they're too big for many applications. So researchers are experimenting with small electron-emitting devices suited for flat-panel displays like those in laptop computers. The devices still have drawbacks, but new materials and fabrication methods are brightening the prospects for flat-panel CRTs.