Liquid crystal displays


After about five decades of extensive material research and device development, followed by massive investment in manufacturing technology, thin-film-transistor liquid-crystaldisplay (TFT-LCD) has finally become the dominant flat panel display technology. Nowadays, LCD performances, such as viewing angle, contrast ratio, and resolution, have reached acceptable levels. The remaining major technical challenges are response time, light efficiency, and sunlight readability. Fast response time is desired to reduce motion blur and to enable field sequential color displays using red (R), green (G), and blue (B) LEDs (light emitting diodes) without noticeable color breakup. Sequential RGB colors would eliminate the commonly used spatial color filters which in turn enhances light efficiency and resolution density by ~ 3X. In this dissertation, several new approaches for achieving fast-response LCDs are explored. From material viewpoint, the most straightforward approach for achieving fast response time is to employ a thin cell gap with high birefringence and low viscosity liquid crystal (LC). We investigated the thin cell approach theoretically and experimentally. Voltage shielding effect and anchoring energy effect of alignment layers are found to play important roles on operating voltage and response time. Simulations are carried out to understand the underlying physics and confirm the experimental results quantitatively. Another approach to realize fast response time is to explore novel device configuration. Here, we proposed a dual fringing-field switching (DFFS) mode in which small LC domains are iv formed following the distribution of fringing fields. Therefore, it exhibits submillisecond response time without using thin cell or overdrive/undershoot voltage method. The response time of the DFFS mode is ~20X faster than a conventional vertical aligned LCD. In addition, high optical efficiency is achieved from the complementary top and bottom active LC domains. Two transmissive and one transflective LCDs using DFFS mode are conceived and their electrooptical properties investigated. A shortcoming of DFFS LCDs is their fabrication complexity. To keep the advantages of this fast-response mode while avoiding the requirement of double-TFTs and pixel registration, we modified the device structure to transflective LCD which uses a single TFT in each pixel and vertical aligned positive dielectric anisotropy LC. Two types of electrodes are considered: fringing-field switching (FFS) and in-plane switching (IPS). Besides fast response time and high transmittance, such a transflective LCD shows good sunlight readability. As nematic LC is gradually approaching to its limit in term of response time, polymerstabilized blue phase (PSBP) LCD is emerging. It has potential to become next-generation display because of following revolutionary features: submillisecond response time, no need for alignment layer, good dark state and symmetric viewing angle, and cell gap insensitivity if IPS electrode is employed. In this dissertation, we studied the material-property correlation of Kerr effect-induced birefringence in nano-structured PSBP LC composites. Furthermore, a new device configuration of BP LCD with corrugated electrodes is proposed to solve two critical technical issues: high driving voltage and relatively low transmittance. The on-state voltage can be reduced from ~35 Vrms to ~10 Vrms which will enable TFT addressing, and the transmittance is improved from ~65% to ~85%. This new device configuration will accelerate the emergence of v PSBP LCD. Wide view is another important requirement for a high-end display. Several new LCD configurations with negative A-plate and biaxial plate as phase compensation films are proposed to achieve wide view and broadband operation. The underlying working principles are studied and detailed display performances are included in this dissertation.


If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at

Graduation Date





Wu, Shin-Tson


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics








Release Date

December 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Optics and Photonics, Optics and Photonics -- Dissertations, Academic