LCs) are organic materials possessing the fluidity of liquids and the long range molecular orientation found in crystals. Ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) involve spontaneous electric polarization of a material that is very rapidly orientable by applying an external electric field. FLCs combined with silicone chips providing the necessary electric fields have various applications in micro-displays for camera viewfinders and hand held pico-projectors.
A University of Colorado research group led by David Walba and Noel Clark has developed an approach for generating FLC electro-optics with gray-scale resolution without the need for a DC balance. This new approach involves “electrostatic V-shaped switching” where there is no electric field inside the liquid crystal layer of the device. V-shaped switching eliminates the need for DC balance, allowing the achievable brightness of the image to be ~2x as bright as current approaches. It creates true gray scale modulation instead of a perceived gray scale, reduces power dissipation for increased battery life, and provides “phase only” modulation potentially useful for holographic imaging.
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