New patent for Kent Displays Inc. – Flexible LCD Manufacturing Process

Background on Kent Displays

Founded in 1993 as the result of a joint venture between Kent State University (Ohio) and Manning Ventures (Rochester NY), Kent Displays is a world leader in the research, development and manufacture of Reflex™ No Power LCDs for unique, sustainable applications including electronic skins, writing tablets, smartcards and eReaders. The technology is based upon bistable cholesteric LCD technology.

In October 2008, Kent Displays installed a new roll-to-roll production line in their headquarters in Kent, Ohio, U.S.A. to mass produce Reflex LCDs from rolls of plastic. The line is the first of its kind in the world and produces no waste water/chemicals and less solvent emissions than sheet-based processes. The flexibility, durability and exceptional thinness of the plastic displays, combined with no power image retention and superior optical characteristics, result in a versatile, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional paper and backlit LCDs – with nearly endless applications!

New Patent Granted on 10th Aug 2010:

US7773064B2 was granted on 10th Aug 2010 and describes a novel concept in liquid crystal display technology: a display that is a manufactured film. The invention is a display film that is fabricated, lifted off a release liner and then transferred to any desired substrate. The display film may be fabricated by applying a plurality of layers in sequence to include all display components or can be fabricated with some components and later laminated together to complete the display device.

A particular feature of this technology is that it does not need to be made on a transparent substrate making available a broader range of substrate materials such as fabrics that can be deformed by bending, rolling, draping or folding.

There are 58 claims in total covering many different forms of the basic concept described in claim 1.  These include laminating onto a solar panel for a self powered display; laminating onto fabrics; a multilayer film with sublayers of reflective red, green and blue for colour displays.

The first claim is reproduced below:

1. A transfer display film comprised of stacked layers that are prepared on, cured or dried and lifted from a release surface and then transferred to a substrate, wherein said stacked layers comprise at least one liquid crystal dispersion layer comprising liquid crystal material dispersed in polymer, a first electrically conductive layer located near one side of said dispersion layer, a second electrically conductive layer located near the other side of said dispersion layer and an electrical insulation layer located between and in contact with said dispersion layer and said first or second conductive layer.

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