STTR PHASE I: Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal (FLC) Gels for Facile Processing and High Yield Manufacture of Hardened FLC Displays

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0741216
Agency Tracking Number: 0741216
Amount: $149,920.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Small Business Information
LC Vision, LLC
2910 Regis Drive, Boulder, CO, 80305
DUNS: 165573762
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Wand
 PhD
 (303) 506-0723
 mdwand@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Michael Wand
Title: PhD
Phone: (303) 506-0723
Email: mdwand@gmail.com
Research Institution
 California Institute of Technology
 David Mayo
 1200 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA, 91125
 (626) 395-6219
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I research project will enable the widespread use of Ferro-electric Liquid Crystal (FLC) electro-optic devices which is currently impossible because their high fabrication costs become prohibitive for displays over a few centimeters in size. New FLC materials are needed to construct well-aligned FLC cells and consequently larger and less expensive devices. This research will develop polymer dopants that expedite processing and increase yield of well-aligned FLC cells by designing and synthesizing block copolymers that dissolve in the isotropic phase of the Liquid Crystal (LC) and self-assemble into a network when the LC cools. It will characterize the physical properties of these FLC gels to show they retain fast electro-optic (EO) responses and test the new FLC gels for improved durability and manufacturability. Approximately 2 billion small flat panel displays are used annually in cell phones, PDAs, iPods, etc. The additives developed would allow FLCs to be processed into displays in this size range, providing a step-change in resolution and speed. Scientifically, LC gels and elastomers have proven to be a fascinating class of materials and theory is just beginning to offer tantalizing predictions of phenomena that may be found when experimentalists begin to explore FLC gels. This project will be at the cutting edge of experimental research in FLC gels, providing the first glimpse into the consequences of orientational coupling and rubber elasticity in chiral smectic LCs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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