Nanotechnology in the UK

The technology arm of Oxford University, has founded a company to exploit the commercial potential of nanocrystalline materials.

The small grain size of these materials provides them with different properties to those of their bulk counterparts, and Nanox is initially focusing on developing nanoparticle phosphors for the display industry.

Perfectly crystalline phosphor particles without the surface defect region of conventional phosphor materials offer improved luminescence efficiency. Whilst TV screens need 30,000V to make phosphors shine, Nanox claims to have developed phosphors which, working at 500V, are five times more efficient than traditional phosphors.

It is estimated that the global display phosphor market will be worth $400 – $500 million in 2004. Over 80% will be used in TVs and PC monitors, and the remainder will service the Flat Panel Display market which includes Liquid Crystal Displays, plasma Display Panels and Field Emission Displays.