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Monday, February 16, 1998 Published at 19:24 GMT


Screens of plastic could be fantastic
image: [ The screen of the future at present only works in black and green ]
The screen of the future at present only works in black and green

A British company has revealed what it says is the world's first plastic television display.

Cambridge Display Techonology's Chief Exec Danny Chapchal: "We've made a breakthrough"
Cambridge Display Technology hopes its thin, light screens could in time replace the traditional cathode-ray television set.

The company designed the screen using light-emitting polymers after a chance discovery by scientists nine years ago. It describes the technology simply as "plastic that glows."

Cambridge Display Technology is promising to "set aggressive targets for commercialising the technology."

[ image: Scientists discovered plastic's potential by accident]
Scientists discovered plastic's potential by accident
The first use of the plastic screen is likely to be in mobile phone and other small-scale displays.

The technology will be particularly useful for laptop computers, which currently cost more than desktops because of their expensive thin screens.

When plastic television arrives in around five years, viewers will be able to mould their screen into any shape they want to watch it in.

Until then, the excitement generated by Cambridge Display Technology's announcement is limited by the fact the screens can only cope with black and green for now.

The unveiling on Monday comes after two aborted attempts by the company to showcase its technology.

[ image: Cambridge Display Technology is backed by Intel]
Cambridge Display Technology is backed by Intel
Twice in the past six months, Cambridge Display Technology set dates to show off its product, only to cancel them.

The company is privately owned but in November said the American semiconductor group Intel Corp had taken an undisclosed stake.

Other investors include Cambridge University, the rock group Genesis and Esther Dyson, President of Edventure Holdings of New York.

A new Japanese partner has also been brought in to help distribute and promote the plastic display screens.

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