Devices can’t get thinner for a few reasons. While a lighter, thinner battery would be amazing, screens still take up a lot of gadget real estate, a fact that is mitigated slightly by e-ink and other “flat” displays. Now, however, researchers are turning to Quantum Dot displays, screens that use light-emitting nanocrystals to display multiple colors in a screen that is surprisingly thin and can be “printed” using standard inkjet techniques. Manufacturers Samsung and Sony have produced some proof-of-concept displays that they showed at CES this year but they used QD displays as backlights, not as a display feature. Until now, no one has been able to create a full QD screen that works the way LED and OLED screens display images and text.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana−Champaign have been able to print the ink-like crystals onto thin screens using electrohydrodynamic jet printing, a technique used…

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