News Release

Integration of energy storage and information display—a lithium metal battery-based low-powered dynamic color display

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Science China Press

The schematic and working mechanism of the low-powered dynamic plasmonic color display

image: The display panel, which serves as the anode of the battery, is composed of silica (SiO2) substrate, tungsten (W) conductive film (100 nm thick) and a magnesium fluoride (MgF2) insulating layer (30 nm thick) with periodic holes under the colorless ‘off’ state. Each pixel is composed of periodic holes with a given lateral period (p) and diameter (h). During the charging (electrodeposition) process, Li nanoparticles with diameter (d) generate colors as the ‘on’ state. These colors can be erased during the discharging process once Li nanoparticles are stripped off. view more 

Credit: ©Science China Press

Led by Prof. Jia Zhu and Prof. Lin Zhou (College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nanjing University), a study was recently published, demonstrating that a low-powered dynamic color display based on lithium metal battery, offering a unique opportunity to develop a nano-scaled integrated platform for energy storage and information display.

Alkali metals are attracting significant attention at the intersection of plasmonics and energy storage. On the one hand, alkali metal is emerging as a low-loss and active plasmonic material. On the other hand, lithium (Li), as the lightest metal, has long been regarded as the holy grail of high-energy-density anode materials, with a high specific capacity (3860 mAh g-1) and the lowest electrochemical potential (-3.04 V versus the standard hydrogen electrode).

Here, for the first time, the research team demonstrates a Li metal-based low-powered dynamic plasmonic color display, which is simultaneously a nanostructured anode of a Li metal battery, with the inherited advantages of dynamic tunability and extremely low energy consumption. During the charging process, Li metal nucleates and grows on a pre-patterned substrate, resulting in the generation and tuning of plasmonic colors. During the discharging process, Li metal strips off from the substrate, thus leading to the erasure of the color.

The energy storage characteristics of lithium metal can effectively realize energy recovery and reuse during the charging and discharging process. Because of the dual functionality (plasmonic display and energy storage) of Li metal, each pixel is a micro-lithium battery in a display device, in which one charged pixel can power another one to release its energy, and vice versa, during repeated cycling. The energy storage feature of Li metal enables effective energy recycling and reduces the overall energy consumption to 0.390 mW cm−2 for the active coloration state and 0.105 mW cm−2 for the static coloration state of a proof-of-concept display/battery device, which is much lower than the energy consumption of LCD, LED, EPD display devices, vital for energy-efficient display technologies in the future.

In summary, benefiting from the light field manipulation beyond the diffraction limit and the energy storage battery of Li metals, this work shows much lower energy consumption, much higher spatial resolution, higher compactness, considerable modulation speed and good eye protection for the full-color display. Thus, this Li-metal-based plasmonic color display shows the best overall performance, opening up a promising direction for future high-performance display technology. Their results may offer a unique opportunity to develop a nano-scaled integrated platform for energy storage and information display.

See the article:

Lithium plasmon based low-powered dynamic color display

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