The Eastman Kodak Company and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. have formed a joint venture for manufacturing organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Unlike a discrete LED which has crystalline origins, an OLED is a film-based emitter of light. An OLED display is self-luminous, so it does not require a backlight, weighs less than half of its LCD counterpart, and uses less power. It is also easily patterned for producing flat panel displays. The new technology has thin layers of individual carbon-based elements that emit light when electric current passes through them. A 2.5-inch (measured diagonally) OEL display has 190,000 pixels. Each element or pixel is independently turned on or off, creating multiple colors and fluid, smooth-edged images on the display. And the OLED display won't fade out when the viewer moves from side to side because the viewing angle is 160 deg. The display is readable in bright sunlight and total darkness. The two companies are beginning with a pilot facility this year and graduating to full production in 2003. The displays are designed for use in telephones, cameras, personal digital assistants, and portable entertainment machines. Visit www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/infoImaging/devices_flatPanel.shtml.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
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