Ultra-High Efficiency Polarizers and Polarizing Filters

Period of Performance: 07/12/1995 - 07/12/1997

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Reveo, Inc.
6 Skyline Drive
Hawthorne, NY 10532
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Reveo, Inc. has invented a novel optical element called a polarizing wavelength separator (PWS) which can dramatically improve the lighting efficiency of direct view and projection LCDs. The PWS utilizes cholestric liquid crystals to polarize and spatially separate white light into red, green and blue bands with ultra-high efficiency. Conventional LCD display systems are highly inefficient, in that only 5% or less of the total luminous power of their lighting sources is available for viewing. In contrast, Reveo's PWS can increase the lighting efficiency of flat-panel LCDs by a factor of ten, and increase the brightness of projection displays by a factor of three. The PWS technology will bring about the realization of ultra-bright LCDs for cockpit viewing in bright ambient conditions, more energy efficient laptop and notebook computers, and ultra-compact projection displays. Reveo has successfully completed its Phase I with PWS -- a prototype model has been assembled and demonstrated. Phase II will present a detailed plan of the Phase II work. The major deliverables for Phase II are two PWS-based projection prototypes and a specially designed PWS element which will be suitable for direct view color LCDs. Reveo's patented polarizing wavelength separator (PWS) will bring about a revolution in direct view and projection displays. Based on the innate optical properties of cholesteric liquid crystals, PWS can polarize and spatially separate the primary colors of white light with ultra-high efficiency. This will lead to the realization of more energy efficient laptop and notebook computers, high brightness LCDs for cockpit viewing in bright ambient conditions and ultra-compact projection systems whose size is on the order of two VHS cassettes.