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12/1/2010
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Sony Speeds Response Time In LCDs

Hybrid FPA alignment technique will increase liquid crystal display stability during production and long-term use, said Sony.

Sony Hybrid FPA Technology
(click image for larger view)
Sony Hybrid FPA Technology

Sony has developed a new liquid crystal alignment technique that produces a faster response time for liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

The Hybrid FPA (field-induced photo-reactive alignment) technology has produced responses of less than 3 milliseconds in test cells, the consumer electronics company said Wednesday. "Aside from contributing to 'picture quality enhancement in 3D and high-frame rate video,' this technology will improve 'product stability' during the display panel manufacturing process as well as after long-term use,'' Sony said in a statement. "Additionally, this technology will achieve production efficiencies by reducing the manufacturing process and time."

In the past, Sony used vertical alignment liquid crystal modes to develop the FPA high-speed liquid crystal response alignment technique. The company said that generating pre-tilt of the liquid crystal molecules is one method to improve the liquid crystal response time, and was used in the FPA tests.

Sony researchers were able to maintain the pre-tilt of liquid crystal molecules while applying voltage in the manufacturing process by irradiating UV, the company said. That step led to improvements in both liquid crystal response time and the contrast ratio, and facilitated the stability and alignment of the liquid crystal molecules, Sony said. Mura, a uniformity issue in the display, along with a sticking image that can occur after long-term use, were also both resolved.

Further work on the FPA technology resulted in the Hybrid FPA technique. The faster liquid crystal response time was achieved by maintaining "the pre-tilt on just one side of the substrate alignment layer," the company noted. The researchers witnessed "drastic improvements in liquid crystal response time" using the Hybrid FPA technique, notably, in the faster movement of a liquid crystal molecule when the voltage was decreased. Previously, the faster movement was difficult to achieve when decreasing the voltage, along with higher contrast, Sony said.

Sony will present the new Hybrid FPA technology on Thursday at the International Display Workshops conference in Fukuoka City, Japan.

Sony is working with electronic and display materials company JSR to develop alignment layer materials.

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