Blue phase, liquid crystal display, how efficiency, low voltage, transflective, 3d display, adaptive lens, grating, fast response, kerr constant, negative dielectric anisotropy, dielectric dispersion


Blue phase liquid crystals (BPLCs) have a delicate lattice structure existing between chiral nematic and isotropic phases, with a stable temperature range of about 2 K. But due to short coherent length, these self-assembled nano-structured BPLCs have a fast response time. In the past three decades, the application of BPLC has been rather limited because of its narrow temperature range. In 2002, Kikuchi et al. developed a polymer stabilization method to extend the blue-phase temperature range to more than 60 K. This opens a new gateway for display and photonic applications. In this dissertation, I investigate the material properties of polymer-stabilized BPLCs. According the Gerber’s model, the Kerr constant of a BPLC is linearly proportional to the dielectric anisotropy of the LC host. Therefore, in the frequency domain, the relaxation of the Kerr constant follows the same trend as the dielectric relaxation of the host LC. I have carried out experiments to validate the theoretical predictions, and proposed a model called extended Cole-Cole model to describe the relaxation of the Kerr constant. On the other hand, because of the linear relationship, the Kerr constant should have the same sign as the dielectric anisotropy of the LC host; that is, a positive or negative Kerr constant results from positive (∆ε > 0) or negative host LCs (∆ε < 0), respectively. BPLCs with a positive Kerr constant have been studied extensively, but there has been no study on negative ∆ε polymer-stabilized BPLCs. Therefore, I have prepared a BPLC mixture using a negative ∆ε LC host and investigated its electro-optic properties. I have demonstrated that indeed the induced birefringence and Kerr constant are of negative sign. Due to the fast response time of BPLCs, color sequential display is made possible without color breakup. By removing the spatial color filters, the optical efficiency and resolution density are both tripled. With other advantages such as alignment free and wide viewing angle, polymer-stabilized BPLC is emerging as a promising candidate for next-generation displays. However, the optical efficiency of the BPLC cell is relatively low and the operating voltage is quite high using conventional in-plane-switching electrodes. I have proposed several device structures for improving the optical efficiency of transmissive BPLC cells. Significant improvement in transmittance is achieved by using enhanced protrusion electrodes, and a 100% transmittance is achievable using complementary enhanced protrusion electrode structure. For a conventional transmissive blue phase LCD, although it has superb performances indoor, when exposed to strong sunlight the displayed images could be washed out, leading to a degraded contrast ratio and readability. To overcome the sunlight readability problem, a common approach is to adaptively boost the backlight intensity, but the tradeoff is in the increased power consumption. Here, I have proposed a transflective blue phase LCD where the backlight is turned on in dark surroundings while ambient light is used to illuminate the displayed images in bright surroundings. Therefore, a good contrast ratio is preserved even for a strong ambient. I have proposed two transflective blue phase LCD structures, both of which have single cell gap, single gamma driving, reasonably wide view angle, low power consumption, and high optical efficiency. Among all the 3D technologies, integral imaging is an attractive approach due to its high efficiency and real image depth. However, the optimum observation distance should be adjusted as the displayed image depth changes. This requires a fast focal length change of an adaptive lens array. BPLC adaptive lenses are a good candidate because of their intrinsic fast response time. I have proposed several BPLC lens structures which are polarization independent and exhibit a parabolic phase profile in addition to fast response time. To meet the low power consumption requirement set by Energy Star, high optical efficiency is among the top lists of next-generation LCDs. In this dissertation, I have demonstrated some new device structures for improving the optical efficiency of a polymerstabilized BPLC transmissive display and proposed sunlight readable transflective blue-phase LCDs by utilizing ambient light to reduce the power consumption. Moreover, we have proposed several blue-phase LC adaptive lenses for high efficiency 3D displays.


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Graduation Date





Wu, Shin-Tson


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program









Release Date

June 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


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