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Biaxial Nematic Devices (BIND)
Start date: 07 Feb 2008, End date: 06 Feb 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The recent experimental discovery of novel biaxial liquid crystal (LC) phases is a major breakthrough in functional materials and presents a challenge to develop the technology for a new generation of faster biaxial LC displays. These expectations are based on the existence of a secondary director that can be controlled by external fields. However, to be put in practice, this new possibility requires rethinking LC displays and materials as we know them now.BIND, a collaborative research project on biaxial nematic electro-optic device systems and materials, aims to provide the basic know-how enabling the production of a new generation of fast LC displays. It comprises (i) deepening the fundamental understanding of structure-properties relationships in biaxial nematic materials, with a particular view to bring their range of stability down to room temperature, (ii) developing experimental protocols for the identification and quantification of biaxiality and (iii) investigating novel alignment methods and candidate display architectures. The technological objective is to demonstrate the first working device based on nematic biaxiality.To go from basic understanding of materials properties to working devices, an interdisciplinary consortium of leading research teams has been assembled. Expertise in BIND encompasses state-of-the-art chemical synthesis and characterisation, physical measurement, molecular modelling, computer simulation and design of liquid crystal devices. A variety of liquid crystal types will be assessed, ranging from low-molar-mass nematics to oligomers, multipodes, linear polymers and elastomers.Solving a scientific problem by leading European research groups, and taking this through from fundamental studies to applications, presents a unique opportunity for the EU to take a leading role in developing the know-how on biaxial displays and thereby to strengthen its position in a research area that is presently at the edge of emerging technologies.
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