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STTR Phase II: Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal (FLC) Gels for Facile Processing…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
LC Vision, LLC
2910 Regis Drive Boulder, CO 80305-5329
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: STTR Phase II: Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal (FLC) Gels for Facile Processing and High Yield Manufacture of Hardened FLC Displays
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0924709
Award Amount: $499,981.00


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project will enable the widespread use of ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) electro-optic devices, leading to a new generation of displays that have greater speed, higher resolution and lower power consumption than today's liquid crystals displays (LCDs), which use nematic LCs. A proprietary family of additives, ""polymer dopants"" demonstrated in Phase I, overcomes the main technical obstacles to large-scale application of FLC devices: manufacturing and stabilizing properly aligned cells. The proposed work will develop FLC-polymer materials that expedite processing and increase the yield of well-aligned FLC cells. In Phase I the team: 1) Identified side-group liquid crystal polymers that dissolve in FLC. , 2) Showed that the FLC-polymer mixtures retain fast electro-optic (EO) responses3) Demonstrated that the FLC-polymer mixtures robustly and rapidly adopt the proper alignment, giving bistable switching that is elusive in the FLC alone. In Phase II the team will establish the structure-activity relationships for polymer dopants. It will optimize the FLC-polymer mixtures to establish reliable processes to produce well aligned FLC cells in high yield at high production rates. Approximately 2x109 small flat panel displays are used annually in cell phones, PDAs, iPods, etc. Currently, nematic LCDs overwhelmingly dominate this market $20 billion/year in LCDs, manufactured using $350 million/year of LC materials. The additives developed in this project will allow FLCs to be processed into displays in this size range, providing a step-change in resolution and speed in LCDs. This will lay the foundation for moving FLCs into LCD TVs ($86.3 billion/year market in 2008, growing rapidly). Enabling commercial production of FLC displays 10 cm and up could revolutionize display technology and potentially fuel the growth of display manufacturers in the U.S. Scientifically, solutions of polymers in FLCs represent a nascent class of materials that has hardly been explored. This project is at the cutting edge of experimental research in LCs, providing the first glimpse into the consequences of orientational coupling in chiral smectic LCs.

Principal Investigator:

Michael D. Wand

Business Contact:

Michael D. Wand
Small Business Information at Submission:

LC Vision, LLC
2910 Regis Drive Boulder, CO 80305

EIN/Tax ID: 200373206
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd
M/C 210-85
Pasadena, CA 91125 5757
Contact: Lawrence Gilbert
Contact Phone: (626) 395-3066
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university