Feature Post

Friday, October 28, 2011

Liquid Crystal Display Invention

James Fergason holds over 125 U.S. patents in the technology of liquid crystals, including the first practical use of liquid crystals. He is perhaps best known for the discovery of the twisted nematic field, which led to today's liquid crystal display (LCD).

Fergason was born in Wakenda, Missouri in 1934. He received a BS in Physics from the University of Missouri in 1956, and took a research position at Westinghouse Research Laboratories in Pennsylvania next year. There he organized the first American research team for the study of liquid crystals (1957).

Many substances emit light when electrified, but the liquid crystals are the ones that reflect light when a current passes through them. These crystals were discovered in Germany in the 1880s, but it was not until 1950 that physicists began to consider requests for them, Fergason was the head of the field. In the decade of 1960, as associate director of the Institute of Kent State University Liquid Crystal Fergason was developing an LCD device based on the detection of breast cancer when he made the discovery that became the basis of their greatest invention (1967).

Liquid crystal displays, then the development of laboratories in competition for the voltage applied to the "dynamic scattering mode", which consumes too much power to poor results. Fergason used the discovery of '"effect twisted nematic field" of liquid crystals, to be channeled through the existing crystals in an efficient manner, which shows that if a good contrast and a long life with minimum power (1969). In a typical display, liquid crystal is compressed two thin layers of glass, which is relevant in the design of segmented electrodes invisible bars, which together form the figures. When power is applied to the electrodes on the right, the crystalline material reflects ambient light, creating a different reading of the unelectrified, and so unreflective, surrounding areas.

Fergason has received his first patent (# 3,114,836) in 1963 for his use of cholesteric liquid crystals for temperature sensing applications, the first liquid crystal practicing the invention. This was followed by his first patent for an LCD (# 3410999) in 1968, and a "twist nematic LCD cell" (# 3627408) in 1971. By then he had founded a company to manufacture ILIXCO poster (1970). Fergason first major client was held in Switzerland Gruen Watch. In 1977, most LCD LED digital clocks appears fresh and raw (LED). Since then, the LCD screen has been redone almost all types of display information, including calculators screens industrial, scientific and medical, as well as computers, video games and other electronic products.

All the while, Fergason has remained the leader in its field. He now works in miniature, and passive displays, augmented reality, and safety equipment. For example, Shields, president, Optical, Ltd. is located in Silicon Valley, Fergason was created and patented glasses that the liquid crystal becomes opaque as soon as possible (in 1 / 20, 000 of a second) the impact of any intense radiation, protecting the user's eyes to laser light. Optical Shields' panels Varilite Vision, "the company has made Finalist in the 1992 Discover Awards.

So far, James Fergason has won more than 125 U.S. patents and more than 500 foreign patents (more than 40 countries) for his work --- and also many rewards. Recently (1998), was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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