Liquid Crystal Flat Panel Displays: Manufacturing Science & Technology

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Fairchild made hundreds of thousands of chunkily styled, metal-band watches, some backlit with vials of phosphorescent tritium. And, of course, once it went to Hong Kong that was the end of it. The Japanese were the real risk-takers, the true pioneers of flat-screen TVs, Castellano said.

Making LCDs required huge investments in automation, especially in the elimination of dust. Once the Japanese developed it, the Koreans came along and copied it and improved on it. But Japan, too, hesitated.

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This section briefly describes the different display technologies. South Africa. Related Topics television. This is in agreement with the opposite LC pretilt directions for rubbed and ion beam irradiated polyimide, illustrated in the pictures on the right. Over the last two decades, liquid-crystal displays LCDs have become the dominant type of display, displacing the cathode-ray tube CRT. South Korea saw a chance to leap ahead of everyone else. Liquid crystal displays require a white light source as a backlight in addition to the material used liquid crystal.

South Korea saw a chance to leap ahead of everyone else. Korea became the center of the liquid-crystal universe.

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On the floor at Kintex, the government officials moved on, and I moved with them, and it was then that I found the Merck display. Yes, Merck, the same German chemical company that made liquid crystals for Otto Lehmann in —long separated from the American pharmaceutical company of the same name—is still the biggest name in the liquid-crystal business. Yes, he said, it could sometimes be sensitive to work with rivals, but that, after all, was what nondisclosure agreements were for.

Below them was a shiny, chromeplated ten-kilogram industrial cannister of liquid-crystal fluid, which Merck called Licristal—enough miracle ingredient to make thousands of TVs, computer monitors, or tablets. I had a restful moment, however, with Ki-yung Nam, of Samsung public relations, who introduced me to several Samsung executives over coffee at the temporary Starbucks in the middle of the exhibition hall.

Each of us put business cards on the table, as if we were at a poker game. Yang, at the time principal engineer of the LCD sales and marketing team, did most of the talking. He was a wry, handsome, impeccably suited man who spoke excellent English.

Flat-panel display

I asked him what was the hardest thing about making liquid-crystal displays. Capital expenditures were huge, and the high-definition-TV market had reached saturation in many countries.

A backlight. And polarizers. And then you need a layer of liquid crystal. When the switch turns on, it makes the molecules of liquid crystal reorient themselves, under the influence of the electrical field.

Each transistor controls one subpixel, and each subpixel has a color filter—red, green, or blue—layered over it. When they twist another way, the light from the backlight is blocked by the front polarizer, and the subpixel is black. I rode the yellow-curtained bus back to the airport, where I had some extraordinary passion-fruit and apple pastries at a boulangerie called Paris Croissant. In my hotel room, I fell asleep reading technical brochures and listening to some drunk men shouting and singing in the street.

That was the end of my first day in Seoul. The second day began earlier than expected, at about 3 A. I got up and took a shower. After breakfast—sausage patties and vegetable dumplings—I returned to Kintex, staring sleepily at the misty orange sun. The bus was on time.

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Everything in Korea was on time. Everything worked. I felt myself becoming a fan of this ambitious, color-coded, hardworking, party-rocking country. I spent most of it attending lectures at the scientific display conference, which was being held at Kintex II, the swoopy, airplane-shaped part of the convention center that had recently opened for business. I slipped into one of the six hushed conference rooms. These nanopillars were too deep for me to comprehend, despite the accompanying PowerPoint slides, and I exited after ten minutes.


He said that he was there to observe trends and gather information relating to cell phones. He was spying, essentially—a perfectly reasonable thing to do, given that Asia was where the action was. I slumped in a low modernistic chair in a corner and plugged my various machines into a brand-new white wall outlet. There is something immensely comforting about finding a convenient source of electricity in a strange building. A friendly academic named Brent Wagner, who ran a research group at Georgia Tech, sat down in the chair across from me. Wagner had wistful memories of some of the early efforts in the United States to make flat-panel screens, in the years before the Asian triumph of liquid crystal.

He told me about Larry Weber, a scientist who, after a close brush with bankruptcy, built a facility to make plasma screens—which use tiny glowing gas-filled bulbs to create their images—in a former apple-juice factory in Highland, New York, later bought by Panasonic. Bernard Madoff was an early customer. In the Atlanta airport, Wagner told me, you could, until very recently, encounter, in the shuttle train, an early, American-manufactured electroluminescent display, with yellow letters against a black background, working in the wild.

You needed glue with just the right kind of optically transparent properties to hold the layers of a screen together. You had to have all layers perfectly aligned, with just the right thinness of electrosensitive liquid clasped between them.

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The matrix of electrodes had to be deposited dustlessly, with extreme fidelity, so that there were no dead pixels. You had to have the fortitude to risk billions on the building of a single plant. You needed hundreds of small companies supplying capital equipment to the big ones. There were so many finicky variables involved that the mind reeled, I said, waving my hands excitedly. Was that possible? Wagner thought for a moment, and then he laughed. He himself could look beyond American interests, he said—in fact, his team at Georgia Tech had received some grants from Samsung to do research.

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There was, Wagner told me, a program at the Pentagon whose mission was to worry about the risks involved in using foreign components in U. A Far Eastern power—say, China—could deliberately sell something for use in an American cockpit that was unreliable, that would, for example, fail at a certain temperature. After Wagner left, I went outside to get some fresh air and noticed that, in a hall one level below the atrium, another gigantic trade fair was in progress, a baby expo called KinBe.

Refreshed by this surge of optimistic procreation, I rode a moving sidewalk past a clump of large, recently planted trees—each bandaged with brown burlap and braced with many bamboo props and ties—back to the main entrance, where a car was waiting to take me to the big factory at Paju. Paju is near the Imjin River, several miles from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

In crystalline solids, the constituent particles — atoms or molecules — sit in regular geometrical arrays, whereas in the liquid state they are free to move about randomly.

Liquid crystals consist of molecules — often rod-shaped — that organise themselves in the same direction but are still able to move about. It turns out that liquid-crystal molecules respond to an electrical voltage, which changes their orientation and alters the optical characteristics of the bulk material.

Liquid Crystal Flat Panel Displays

It is this property that is exploited in LCDs. They have become popular because they are thinner, lighter and have a lower voltage of operation than other display technologies, and they are perfect for battery-powered devices, for example. Physicists, chemists and technologists working together have had to solve many problems. Liquid crystals were discovered by accident in by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer.

To seek an explanation, he passed his samples to physicist Otto Lehmann. It is understood that most liquid crystals, like cholesteryl benzoate, consist of molecules with long, rod-like structures.

Manufacturing science and technology

Liquid Crystal Flat Panel Displays. Manufacturing science and technology of course, the CRT, which is evident in televisions, computer displays, and a host of . Liquid Crystal Flat Panel Displays: Manufacturing Science & Technology [William C. O Mara] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. We live in.

It is the combination of the attractive forces that exist between all molecules coupled with the rod-like structure that causes the liquid-crystal phase to form. However, the interaction is not quite strong enough to hold the molecules firmly in place. Many different kinds of liquid-crystal structures have since been discovered.

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Some organise further into layers, while others are even disc-shaped and form columns. Throughout the s and s, researchers studied the effects of electric and magnetic fields on liquid crystals. In , Russian physicist Vsevolod Freedericksz showed that liquid-crystal molecules, in a thin film sandwiched between two plates, changed their alignment when a magnetic field was applied. For this reason, the current in an active matrix display can be switched on and off more frequently, improving the screen refresh time. Some passive matrix LCD's have dual scanning, meaning that they scan the grid twice with current in the same time that it took for one scan in the original technology.

However, active matrix is still a superior technology out of the two. LCDs are now being outpaced by other display technologies, but are not completely left in the past.