Contact: Mona S.Rowe,(516) 282-2345 or
Diane Greenberg, (516) 282-2347

Mailed 9/18/95


Upton, NY -- A researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has invented a flat-panel video screen that uses lasers as a light source. Potential uses of the patented device include video advertising displays, television, computers, automotive dashboard and aircraft cockpit displays, as well as portable military maps and wall-sized displays for home entertainment.

Since the Brookhaven device has advantages in brightness, contrast and viewing angle over the new generation of liquid crystal cockpit displays, the U.S. Air Force is funding development of the flat-panel device for use in its new planes. In another project involving the new technology funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), Brookhaven also is working on a five-foot plastic television screen for military use.

President Bill Clinton has identified developing flat-panel displays as vital to the economic future of the U.S., and the Brookhaven technology helps fulfill this national goal. Brookhaven engineer James Veligdan invented the device and developed the display screen prototype, which is nine inches wide by five inches high and approximately one inch thick.

The new flat-panel screen has several advantages over current technologies. Many video display systems now on the market use cathode ray tubes (CRTs). Although reliable, they are very large, heavy and not easily transportable. Other than CRTs, the major current video display technology is limited to liquid crystal displays, which are comparatively difficult and expensive to manufacture.

The Brookhaven technology works by directing light from a miniature laser to a scanner, which guides the light beam into the proper sector of laminated wave guides. Composed of multiple sheets of laminated glass or plastic, the wave guides direct the light to the screen to display the video image.

Said Veligdan, "The system is totally eye-safe, high-contrast, and offers exceptionally wide viewing angles. Also, the screen can be used in cold weather, whereas liquid crystals thicken and freeze as temperatures dip below freezing. The technology can be adapted to display 3D images, if the viewer wears polarized glasses. Maintenance is easy and inexpensive."

Associated Universities, Inc., (AUI) holds the patents to this new invention. David Languilli in Brookhaven's Technology Transfer Office commented, "AUI is actively seeking licenses for the flat-panel display. We have been speaking with a number of companies that have expressed interest in commercializing the technology."

The flat-panel video screen was originally developed under a technology maturation grant from the Department of Energy's Energy Research Office. Through interagency cooperation between the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, further development of the technology is being funded by the U.S. Air Force and ARPA for military applications.

Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. Brookhaven is operated by Associated Universities, Inc., a nonprofit research management organization, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.


James Veligdan is a resident of Manorville, New York.