Philips Shows off Easier LCDs

Paint-on technology could lead to thinner, cheaper displays appearing on phones, clothes, and even flower vases.

LCDs could become cheaper, thinner, lighter, and more flexible with a paint-on LCD-making technology being developed by researchers at Koninklijke Philips Electronics.

Researchers at the Amsterdam-based consumer-electronics company say they have devised a way to "paint" LCDs. A liquid crystal-polymer mix is applied to a surface, such as a sheet of plastic film, and exposed to two doses of ultraviolet radiation, to form first the walls and then a cover for each of the display's pixels.

The process replaces the need to sandwich the liquid crystals between glass plates, which is what is done for current LCDs. Carefully connecting the glass pieces and filling the space with liquid crystals in a process called "vacuum suction," is complex, time consuming, and expensive, Philips says.

With the new technique, called "photo-enforced stratification," the complete display is built from the bottom up on a single substrate by coating all functional layers on top of one other, Philips says.

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