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Development of Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystal Devices for IT Applications

Objective

The objective of FELICITA was to develop ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) technology to the point where FLC devices could be produced competitively within Europe.
The objective of FELICITA was to develop ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) technology to the point where FLC devices can 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.
The project concentrated on 2 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 display demonstrator, a 640 x 480 pixel, 64-colour A4 display, is presently being fabricated. A 75 mm, 300 dots per inch (dpi) shutter array with a frame time of 308 ms has been completed and tested in an electrographic printer. The 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 liquid crystal display (LCD).
The workpackages of the project covered the areas of fundamental studies, the development and evaluation of liquid crystal (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 high quality devices can be produced with high yield. The colour and grey scale workpackages have ensured that the display can compete effectively with other display technologies for the office terminal market. 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 integrated circuits (IC) needed to drive these complex devices have been designed alongside the development of the addressing schemes.
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.

Coordinator

GEC Marconi Ltd
Address
Hirst Research Centre East Lane
HA9 7PP Wembley
United Kingdom

Participants (11)

BDH
United Kingdom
Address
Broom Road
BH12 4NN Poole
Central Research Laboratories plc
United Kingdom
Address
Dawley Road
UB3 1HH Hayes
Defence Research Agency (DRA)
United Kingdom
Address
St Andrews Road
WR14 3PS Malvern
E MERCK
Germany
Address
Frankfurter Straße 250
64293 Darmstadt
LAGERWALL
France
Address
8 Corniche Bonaparte
83150 Bandol
OCE NEDERLAND
Netherlands
Address
St. Urbanusstraat, 43, 101
5900 MA Venlo
ROBERT BOSCH GMBH
Germany
Address
Robert-bosch-platz 1
70839 Gerlingen
Seleco SpA
Italy
Address
Viale Treviso 15
33170 Pordenone
Thomson CSF
France
Address
Domaine De Corbeville
91404 Orsay
UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE MADRID
Spain
Address
Rectorado, Avenida Ramiro De Maeztu, 7
28040 Madrid
Università degli Studi di Bari
Italy
Address
Via Garruba 6/B
70121 Bari