The Evolution of LC Technologies and Full Blooming TFT-LCDs
Since the discovery of the liquid crystal (LC) in 1888, and the challenge to commercialize liquid crystal displays with dynamic scattering mode in 1960s, not many LC scientists could have imagined today’s TFT-LCD successful stories of dominating flat panel display markets with such high image quality being comparable to or even better than emissive displays.
LC, viscoelastic fluid with anisotropic physical properties, has intrinsic weakness in manufacturing processes and electro-optic performances when the first LC twisted nematic (TN) mode with good reliability was commercialized to TFT-LCDs as a voltage-dependent polarization controller with crossed polarizers in early 1990s. LC needed to be uniformly aligned in a large area and needed to be filled through small holes between two substrates, rendering large-size manufacturing difficult, and its field induced response time was not fast enough for displaying vivid moving pictures, its contrast ratio was not high enough and image quality of displays at normal direction showed strong viewing-angle dependencies, imagining its application to TVs improbable.
During the last three decades, LC technologies for TFT-LCDs have been greatly developed to overcome these weaknesses, making TFT-LCDs the king of displays. Nowadays, LCDs face strong challenges from other emissive displays such as OLEDs and micro LEDs, but still dominate most of the display markets with superior electro-optic performances of LCs that go beyond expectations and have unbeatable reliability.
In this talk, I will share what I have observed from the 1990s to now on how notebook TFTLCDs have been evolving to all-purpose displays with many breakthrough technologies, celebrating full blooming TFT-LCDs together, and my predictions on the future prospectus of LCDs.