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Orlando, FL, United States

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2009

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a new type of red, green, and blue (RGB) backlight for liquid crystal displays (LCD) that can provide low cost, high efficiency, high image quality, and low voltage. While LCDs dominate computers, communication, and entertainment, they remain limited in their image quality and efficiency by the lack of a low cost, high quality RGB backlight. This lack of RGB backlighting is due to the market barrier of the high cost associated with the available technologies. The proposed project investigates a transformative approach to LCD backlighting using laser up-conversion that can reach very low cost by incorporating new materials, photonic device structures, and integration techniques at the backlight subsystem level. In addition, the Phase I project enables a dramatic improvement in the LCD system level performance through color and 2D modulation with increased resolution, color and image contrast, and elimination of the need for expensive LCD color filters. If successful one of the key benefits of this outcome is that the increased performance will reduce the cost displays systems. The LCD has become the dominant technology for information display in education, science, health care, government, security, and entertainment. Few other technologies have had as broad an impact on the U.S. and world societies. The LCD impact comes from its multibillion-dollar world market and in its diverse range of applications. This SBIR effort has as its goal furtherance of LCD displays by developing low cost RGB backlighting. It combines an important opportunity for technology advancement in a market sector important to the U.S. economy with a collaborative effort in basic science and new materials with university researchers to achieve this goal. The new technology offers the opportunity for rapid development and commercialization of new university developed concepts. In addition, the technology may find new applications in automotive lighting, indicator lamps, and other display technologies. The research effort targets integration of new materials and devices at the subsystem level, with a clear technology path to innovation for LCDs in each of the leading market sectors.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2008

This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II research project focuses on new GaAs-based, low voltage technology for high definition head mounted displays (HMDs), suitable for advanced applications in immersive virtual reality and 3-D imaging. Applications for this technology include battery powered augmented reality HMDs, full color, high resolution HMDs with 3-D imaging potential, and low cost, low voltage indicators and backlights for battery powered electronics. Displays derived from this GaAs technology have superior color gamut, high brightness, resolution and efficiency compared to other approaches. The results obtained from the STTR Phase I project indicate that low cost HMD-based optical systems can be designed using these high resolution microdisplay chips at supply voltages as low as 1.5 volts. Compared to display systems based on GaN LED and OLED technology which require voltages of up to 4 volts, this technology presents a path for continued advancement to 3-D imaging systems that could reach the resolution of the human eye. This technology should impact low cost HMDs displaying low-information content data such as maps, text or line graphics that require long battery life for markets that include first responders, factory and inventory workers, and consumer appliances. The technology can be advanced to much higher resolution microdisplays and improved optics for the high-information content marketplace such as immersive virtual reality for education, medical imaging and surgery, games and videos. Commercial emphasis will be placed on the low voltage operation for battery compatibility, a key advantage for augmented reality HMDs; and one which may lead to fundamental changes in battery powered electronics having indicator lights and/or displays.

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