Discovered over 120 years ago, liquid crystal materials are considered the 4 th state of matter with properties that are somewhere in between a liquid and a crystal. This unique class of electro-optic material allows control of light through application of a low voltage. The material has been the cornerstone of LCDs which are used in smart phones, computer monitors and almost all wearable or portable technologies that we are so dependent on.
Liquid crystals can be configured to selectively absorb, reflect, scatter or refract polarized as well as unpolarized light. By far, the most common approach has been manipulation of the polarization of light through selective refraction. However, the other properties are gaining interest for light management applications ranging from sun protection to optical shutters.
AlphaMicron has expertise in all these configurations. It also makes unique devices which operate on multiple modes such as absorptive and scattering or absorptive and reflective. It designs and fabricates novel materials and liquid crystal formulations based on the requirements needed for the final system.
The birthplace of liquid crystal displays, the Kent State University’s Liquid Crystal Institute is the world’s first research center focused on the basic and applied science of liquid crystals. Many AlphaMicron scientists studied at the LCI and the proximity of AlphaMicron to LCI has fostered a unique intellectual cross-pollination resulting in a flow of new ideas and spurred innovation!