A novel liquid crystal display: from theory to experimentation to commercialisation

Nigel Mottram (University of Strathclyde)

Thursday 29th January, 2009 14:00-15:00 325


This seminar will describe the research and ongoing commercialisation of a novel liquid crystal display device. The project started with a rather fortuitous discover of "bistability" (the presence of two molecular configurations which are local energy minima) in a theoretical model of a simple liquid crystal system. It was quickly realised that, in such a system, if we could enable the liquid crystal molecular configuration to switch between these two stable states then an interesting display device could be produced. After further theoretical modelling (using a continuum theory which allows for the motion of defects within the liquid crystal) we were able to understand the switching characteristics and propose a series of experiments which would test the device capabilities. After patenting our ideas we ran parallel experimental and theoretical projects to optimise the system with the aim to understand both the fundamental physics of the phenomena observed in the experiments and how these effects could be commercialised. In doing so we have developed a new way of visualising the molecular configuration in a number of liquid crystal devices and developed a method of testing numerical and analytical results for liquid crystal devices.

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