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Rapid advances in display technology over the past decade, in particular,have driven costs downward and spurred explosive growth worldwide in the demand for, and sales of, electronic equipment ranging from large screen televisions to mobile phones. Boasting a market well in excess of $79 billion in 2004,displays have surged to the forefront of the optoelectronics industry, largely on the strength of consumer sales. Flat panel technologies such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and plasma display panels (PDPs) now offer screens of unprecedented size but also brightness and contrast approaching or surpassing the quality afforded by the cathode ray tube (CRT). This brief review focuses on selected emissive display technologies:PDPs, field emission and surface-conduction electron emission displays, and microcavity plasma arrays. Spanning the range from mature, commercially developed displays to emerging concepts, these technologies underscore the growing importance of the display in consumer, commercial, and research applications for its critical role as an increasingly sophisticated interface between an electronic or electro-optical system and the user.