Liquid crystal display (LCD) has become ubiquitous and indispensable in our daily life. Recently, it faces strong competition from organic light emitting diode (OLED). In order to maintain a strong leader position, LCD camp has an urgent need to enrich the color performance and reduce the power consumption. This dissertation focuses on solving these two emerging and important challenges. In the first part of the dissertation we investigate the quantum dot (QD) technology to improve the both the color gamut and the light efficiency of LCD. QD emits saturated color and grants LCD the capability to reproduce color vivid images. Moreover, the QD emission spectrum can be custom designed to match to transmission band of color filters. To fully take advantage of QD’s unique features, we propose a systematic modelling of the LCD backlight and optimize the QD spectrum to simultaneously maximize the color gamut and light efficiency. Moreover, QD enhanced LCD demonstrates several advantages: excellent ambient contrast, negligible color shift and controllable white point. Besides three primary LCD, We also present a spatiotemporal four-primary QD enhanced LCD. The LCD’s color is generated partially from time domain and partially from spatial domain. As a result, this LCD mode offers 1.5× increment in spatial resolution, 2× brightness enhancement, slightly larger color gamut and mitigated LC response requirement (~4ms). It can be employed in the commercial TV to meet the challenging Energy star 6 regulation. Besides conventional LCD, we also extend the QD applications to liquid displays and smart lighting devices. The second part of this dissertation focuses on improving the LCD light efficiency. Conventional LCD system has fairly low light efficiency (4%~7%) since polarizers and color filters absorb 50% and 67% of the incoming light respectively. We propose two approaches to reduce the light loss within polarizers and color filters. The first method is a polarization preserving backlight system. It can be combined with linearly polarized light source to boost the LCD efficiency. Moreover, this polarization preserving backlight offers high polarization efficiency (~77.8%), 2.4× on-axis luminance enhancement, and no need for extra optics films. The second approach is a LCD backlight system with simultaneous color/polarization recycling. We design a novel polarizing color filter with high transmittance (>90%), low absorption loss (~3.3%), high extinction ratio (>10,000:1) and large angular tolerance (up to ±50˚). This polarizing color filter can be used in LCD system to introduce the color/polarization recycling and accordingly boost LCD efficiency by ~3 times. These two approaches open new gateway for ultra-low power LCDs. In the final session of this dissertation, we demonstrate a low power and color vivid reflective liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) display with low viscosity liquid crystal mixture. Compared with commercial LC material, the new LC mixture offers ~4X faster response at 20oC and ~8X faster response at -20oC. This fast response LC material enables the field-sequential-color (FSC) driving for power saving. It also leads to several attractive advantages: submillisecond response time at room temperature, vivid color even at -20oC, high brightness, excellent ambient contrast ratio, and suppressed color breakup. With this material improvement, LCOS display can be promising for the emerging wearable display market.


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Graduation Date





Wu, Shintson


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program

Optics and Photonics









Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)