Flexible Liquid Crystal Optics

Breakthrough active optical films that steer, modulate and focus light

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Ultra-thin and light active liquid crystal cells

FlexEnable’s low temperature process enables the manufacture of flexible liquid crystal cells, creating the world’s thinnest active optical films that can steer, modulate or focus light depending on the applied voltage.

Liquid crystal (LC) cells have traditionally been made on glass, but for modern applications glass is impractical because of its weight, thickness or lack of conformability. This issue is particularly compounded in optical use cases, where multiple cells can be needed.

FlexEnable’s liquid crystal cells are ideal for applications such as tunable and dimmable lenses, tintable automotive smart windows and switchable ePrivacy screens. Just 100 microns thick, they can be stacked to provide greater power and additional functions, whilst adding very little thickness or weight.

Our process also allows biaxial forming around, for example, a spherical surface, something particularly desirable in AR/VR and automotive applications and bringing active optics to almost any surface.

Liquid crystal lens

Tintable smart window film

Key features & benefits

Biaxially formable

Ultra-thin 100µm cells

Built on optically ideal plastic films

Actively steer, modulate and focus light

Powerfull performance via cell stacking

Can be segmented into regions and pixelated

Biaxially formable LC film built on TAC

Our ultra-thin flexible LC film is processed in display fabs lines using standard equipment and built on TAC instead of glass. There are various designs possible using different liquid crystal types, cell gaps and stacks. Moreover, these liquid crystal cells can be biaxially curved meaning that at a given point the surface is curved in every direction, like that of a sphere.

To biaxially curve a liquid crystal cell, it must be stretched – both the substrate and all the active layers built upon it. This is not possible with glass substrates, as the high temperatures required would damage the active layers and inhibit optical performance.

Our low temperature process with flexible substrates means that liquid crystal cells can be biaxially thermoformed at very low temperatures (<100°C) that are benign to the active materials in the stack – forming to complex curvatures without affecting performance.

Biaxially formed liquid crystal cell

Tintable film cell stack

Applications

VR and AR optics

Automotive smart windows

ePrivacy screens