Development of Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal Devices for IT Applications


FELICITA - 2360

Keywords flat-panel displays, HDTV, ferroelectric liquid crystal displays, light gate arrays


Start Date: 27-JAN-89 / Duration: 47 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

The objective of FELICITA was to develop ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) technology to the point where FLC devices could be produced competitively within Europe.

Ferroelectric liquid crystals combine the well-known advantages of conventional liquid crystals with the additional advantages of very fast switching and bistable operation. This combination of properties offers the possibility of achieving highly multiplexed flat-panel displays with high contrast, operating at video frame rates. In addition, the technology can be applied to produce high-density, fast shutter arrays for use in electrographic printheads.

Progress and Results

The project concentrated on two types of device: an A4 display suitable for an office terminal, and a xerographic printhead based on an FLC shutter array. A4 displays with 640 x 400 and 1280 x 800 pixels were fabricated, and a 100 mm diagonal video display with 240 x 256 pixels was demonstrated. The final demonstrators achieved by the project were:

The latter device exhibits a 20:1 contrast ratio, and the first results have already demonstrated the feasibility of quality, high-speed printing using FLC technology. The project has also developed computer programs which simulate the optical and electrical characteristics of ferroelectric LCDs.

The workpackages of the project covered the areas of fundamental studies, the development and evaluation of LC materials, electronics, colour and grey-scale technologies, and displays and light shutter fabrication technology. The fabrication work has developed the technology required to ensure that high-quality devices can be produced with good yield. FLC materials have been developed which enable both the displays and shutters to meet market requirements for operating speed, temperature range and lifetime. Under the electronics workpackage the ICs needed to drive these complex devices have been designed alongside the development of the addressing schemes.

The fundamental studies of the chiral smectic C phase and their application to fast flat-panel displays and light shutters have laid the foundation for future development of FLC effects and of new devices with the potential to address novel markets in the IT field.

During the project one of the partners developed a non-volatile (ie bistability at OV) ferroelectronic LCD for use in an electronic shelf edge labelling system. This work and that within FELICITA led to the identification of IT products that will benefit from the use of a non-volatile display.


CONTACT POINT

Dr A. Mosley
GEC Hirst Research Centre
Elstree Way
UK - Borehamwood WA6 1RX
tel: + 44/ 95-320-30
fax: + 44/ 81-7320200
telex: 923429

Participants

GEC-MARCONI LTD - UK - C
ROBERT BOSCH GMBH - D - P
E. MERCK - D - P
OCE-NEDERLAND BV - NL - P
THOMSON-CSF - F - P
UNIVERSITA DI BARI - I - P
UNIVERSIDAD DE MADRID-ETSI - E - P
THORN EMI PLC - UK - P
SELECO SPA - I - P
LAGERWALL SARL - F - P
BDH LTD - UK - A
DRA (DEFENCE RESEARCH AGENCY) - UK - A


TCS synopses home page TCS acronym index TCS number index
All synopses home page all acronyms index all numbers index

FELICITA - 2360, December 1993


please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk

html version of synopsis by Nick Cook