Partnering opportunity

Flexible liquid crystal (LC) cell smart window films

Summary

A UK company has developed ultra-thin, flexible smart window Liquid Crystal (LC) cell films for automotive applications. The company’s LC cell approach can conform to the window, including biaxially curved ones, and achieve rapid switching with neutral colour. Auto-glazing companies are sought for joint further development under technical cooperation, and licensing.

Partner sought

- Type of partner sought: industry; - Specific area of activity of the partner: automotive glazing companies; - Task to be performed by the partner sought: joint development into commercial products and systems integration, under technical cooperation. License(s) will be needed for commercial launch. The UK company can supply any shapes with the electronics to drive them. The manufacturers can sandwich them between glass panes (incl biaxially curved ones).

Description

The company has developed a process that enables the manufacture of liquid crystal (LC) cells on plastic films (e.g. cellulose triacetate TAC), to make the world’s thinnest active optical films that can steer or shutter light rays depending on the applied voltage. LC cells have been made on glass for many years, but for many applications glass cannot be used because of the weight, thickness or lack of conformability. There are several approaches to smart windows for flat glass (architectural), but options are compromised where biaxial curvature is needed such as in automotive applications. The company’s LC cell approach can conform to the window and achieve rapid switching with neutral colour. Automotive glazing companies are sought for further development and commercial launch of the system.

Advantages and innovations

• LC cell built on ultra-thin plastic films • Video-rate switching to clear, tinted or any state in between • Colour neutral (non-blueish colour) • Designed for insertion into the glazing and to match biaxial curvature of the glass • Can be segmented into different regions • Transmission levels and stack thickness can be tailored to specific requirements • Low cost manufacturing process using existing flat panel display (FPD) lines and equipment.

Development stage

Available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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