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Function-oriented Knowledge Base \ Electronic paper \ Improve image quality of paper-like display

Dielectric droplets reduce response time of flat panel display

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Introduction
Conventional liquid crystal displays exhibit a substantial response time. It is necessary to reduce the response time of a flat panel display.
 
Description
To reduce the response time of a flat panel display, using dielectric droplets movable in a gradient electric field is proposed. A flat panel display incorporates a plurality of micro-pump light valves (MLV) to form pixels. Each MLV consists of a dielectric droplet sandwiched between two transparent substrates. Coordinate electrodes are provided on the external surfaces of the substrates and non-wetted areas are formed on their internal surfaces. A holding electrode creates a potential energy well to maintain the droplet outside the viewing area. A switching electrode creates a switching potential well that accelerates the droplet from the region of the holding electrode to the viewing area. The non-wetted areas create potential holding barriers adjacent to the viewing area of the pixel in order to confine the dielectric droplet when the voltages are off. The basic principle of the MLV is that of electrodynamics. This states that a dielectric body tends to be attracted to a region of a strong electric field, provided that the dielectric constant of this body is greater than that of the surrounding area. Sequential voltage switching on the electrodes changes the depth of the potential wells within the regions of the holding and switching electrodes. A sequential change in the depth of the potential wells creates an electric field gradient between the electrodes. The electric field gradient causes the droplet to accelerate and move from the region of the holding electrode to the viewing area. The obtainable rates may be high, so the time needed for the droplet to move to the viewing area that corresponds to a pixel response is reduced. The pixel response time is thus reduced as well. Therefore, a dielectric droplet reduces the response time of a flat panel display.
 
Additional information
The forces acting upon the droplet are quadratic in nature to provide a nonlinear response. The response is quadratic, so the reaction of the droplet is independent of the sign of the electric field. For this reason, alternating voltage is preferably applied. The response time of a pixel having a size of 30x30x100 microns with a droplet having a diameter of 30 microns is approximately 10 milliseconds. When the dielectric droplet is within the region of the holding electrode, the ambient light can pass through the viewing area. The non-wetted areas enhance the contrast ratio while reducing flickering. It will also be noticed that, unlike liquid crystal displays, the proposed display requires no polarizers or "transparent" electrode surfaces, thus providing an inherent increase in brightness. It is essential that passive addressing of larger displays without active driver components at each pixel is possible due to the nonlinear character of the response. The dielectric droplet possesses a relatively large dielectric constant (greater than 10) and a relatively small viscosity (less than 10 cP). The droplet may be methanol or glycol. Polyethylene may be effective to form the non-wetted surfaces.
 
Reference
US Patent 5181016; Link >>
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