SBIR Phase I: Liquid Crystal-based Next Generation e-paper Devices by Micro-engineered Surfaces

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
7630 First Place, cleveland, OH, 44146-6713
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Chenhui Wang
(440) 786-8700
Business Contact:
Chenhui Wang
(440) 786-8700
Research Institution:

Project Abstract This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project proposes to develop low power consumption bistable liquid crystal display (LCD) with capability of color and video display based on micro-engineered surface alignment (MESA) technology, for application of e-book/e-paper and other low power display such as rewritable price tags and cell phones. The uniqueness of MESA-LCD is that it is a surface-induced bistable display thus power consumption is extremely low for displaying text or static picture, meanwhile, both the video display and color display can be easily achieved whenever it is necessary. Also as a MESA-LCD is compatible to the current mature LCD production process, it has a low cost unmatchable for other technologies. The key Phase-I objective is to demonstrate the switching voltage reduction and contrast Improvement, to enable the success of commercialization success in Phase-II. The phase-I objective will be achieved through research on optimization of photoalignment materials and processes, and fabrication of a phase-I concept-proving prototype. With success of this project, e-book with low power consumption, and capability of video display and color display will be enabled. Meanwhile, this research project improves the understanding of the interaction of the light and micro-structured surface materials. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to bring to market various low-power display products including e-book and e-paper with full function of color display and video display with application in education and entertainment, for people who are now living in Information Era. This project is mainly targeting a fast growing e-book/e-paper market which has been proven by the launch of the Kindle e-book products by Amazon. The proposed MESA technology can also be used for retail, advertisement, medical display and military application where power consumption is a concern, with potential products including solar powered rewritable price tags, cell phones and other hand-hold devices, and smart ID/credit/medical cards. Technology areas of this project cover liquid crystal/polymer materials, LCD process, and interaction of the light and micro-structured surface materials. Market sector of this project include education, entertainment, retail, advertisement, medical display and military.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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