SBIR Phase II: Amorphous Metal Nonlinear Resistor Applications for Liquid Crystal Display Backplanes

Period of Performance: 02/10/2015 - 07/31/2017

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Amorphyx Inc.
508 SW Jefferson Ave Suite 12
Corvallis, OR 97339
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Abstract

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is to simplifying the display backplane manufacturing process and thereby deliver cost savings to a display industry annually losing billions of dollars. The technology being developed as part of this Phase II project has the potential to outperform current thin film transistor (TFT) backplane technologies in key Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) performance areas such as power consumption, image brightness and quality, and color richness. The vision of this project is to redefine the cost, manufacturability and performance of displays through the use of advanced materials and novel electronics. Beyond dramatic economic implications for the LCD industry, the amorphous metal and metal oxide-based technologies developed through this project will enable a technically and economically viable path to roll-to-roll production of flexible glass displays. Enabling a roll-to-roll "flex" factory could reintroduce display manufacturing to the United States. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project challenges conventional display industry practice by eliminating semiconductor content and relying on quantum tunneling conduction enabled by innovative materials to control the LCD backplane. The relatively simple tunneling devices developed as part of this project contrast with the industry's focus on increasingly complex semiconductors and manufacturing processes to meet the performance demands of UHD TV while reducing cost. The use of these structurally less complex tunneling devices in the LCD backplane has been enabled through the use of amorphous metal thin-films. The objective of this Phase II project is to develop a prototype display incorporating amorphous metal thin-film based tunneling devices and to evaluate its performance in terms of gray-scale control, power consumption, and maximum refresh rate. It is anticipated that amorphous metal tunneling devices can outperform current TFT technologies in these three areas by enabling 12-bit gray-scale accuracy, increasing the sub-pixel aperture ratio, and eliminating the need for semiconductor materials. The results from this prototype will confirm the technology's core value proposition, amorphous metal thin-film devices improve UHD performance while reducing manufacturing cost and increasing factory capacity.