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Low Cost Thin Film Electroluminescent Heat Mounted Displays

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Spire Corporation
One Patriots Park Bedford, MA 01730-2396
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: Low Cost Thin Film Electroluminescent Heat Mounted Displays
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $98,961.00


Spire and its subcontractor, Westinghouse/Norden Systems, propose development of color, thin film electroluminescent (TFEL) head mounted displays (HMDs) using passive matrix addressing and indium bump-bonded drive electronics. Passive matrix addressing vastly simplifies fabrication and improves manufacturing yields by decreasing the number of high voltage drive transistors required for display operation. Ion implantation of multicolor activators through high resolution masks will be used to selectively introduce luminescent centers and form color pixels. Spire has patented this manufacturing concept and seeks to reduce it to practice. Phase I will first establish ion-implantation's feasibility as a means of producing multicolor pixels at resolutions of 1000 lines per inch, then demonstrate a 640 x 480 TFEL/miniature display, driven through an indium bump-bond interconnect. This approach offers the potential for so greatly simplifying HMD manufacture that units costing less than one hundred dollars will ultimately result. Furthermore, because it brings together proven technologies in an unconventional way, technological risk is low. Existing ARPA-sponsored programs at Spire complement the proposed effort by making available optimized TFEL phosphors; additional collateral benefit will derive from a parallel, Army Night Vision Electro-optics Laboratory contract with Westinghouse/Norden which explores advanced TFEL HMDs. Anticipated Military Benefits/Potential Commercial Applications of the Research or Development: Low cost, miniaturized TFEL displays will be used in applications requiring hands-free transfer of information; equipment maintenance, training simulators, and telepresence surgery are among these applications. The largest commercial application will be in high performance virtual reality entertainment systems.

Principal Investigator:

Themis Parodos

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park Bedford, MA 01730

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No