Oxford (UOXF)

University of Oxford

Department of Engineering Science, University of OxfordThe liquid crystal technology group in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford is jointly run by Professor Peter Raynes and Professor Steve J Elston. Peter Raynes is the Professor of opto-electronics and is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics and the Society for Information Display. He invented, and subsequently developed with Merck Ltd, liquid crystal mixtures that became the standard material in multiplexed Twisted Nematic LCDs and gained a Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement in 1992. Two of his device patents have been licensed to the world's major LCD manufacturers, producing considerable royalties to DERA. The first of these inventions overcame the optical defects and areas of non-uniform contrast normally found in Twisted Nematic LCDs and has become the industry standard. The second invention was of the Supertwist LCD; this has become the standard display used in many medium to high information content applications such as mobile phones and portable notebook computers. Steve Elston has been a lecturer in the Department for more than ten years, recently receiving the title “Professor of Engineering Science”. He has held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship and has received the Marconi Prize, a Leverhulme Trust Prize, and the SID Sturgeon Prize. The liquid crystal technology group has extensive experience in the electro-optic properties of liquid crystal materials and devices for display technology, undertaking a wide range of both experimental and theoretical work. Highlights of experimental work include work on ferroelectrics, anti-ferroelectrics, flexoelectricity and highspeed switching modes in nematics. Theoretical work has included the implementation of initedifference time-domain techniques to model the complex multi-dimensional optics of advanced LCD technology and continuum modelling using a range of techniques (analytic, finite-difference, finite-element, mesh-free, etc.).

Facilities: Polarizing optical microscopes with computer controlled electro-optic addressing and temperature control; stroboscopic polarizing microscopy; dielectric spectroscopy; ELDIM conoscope; K1, K2, K3 measurement; refractive index/anisotropy measurement; flexoelectric property measurement; polymer network alignment; magnetic alignment; clean room.

Role in the project: Display technology device modelling and experiments. Including: experimental and theoretical study of “standard” biaxial geometries; experimental and theoretical study of novel device geometries with coupled biaxial director structures; alignment studies for display
implementation; optimization of display device electro-optic performance.

External Links: Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford.