research area that is rapidly gaining importance, is the use of liquid crystals
for the management of light distribution or collection. The main applications
are more efficient solid-state (LED) lighting luminaires, active
daylighting and efficient solar concentrators for photovoltaic energy
conversion. For a good example of active daylighting see the Lightcatcher by Econation.
Principle of light steering
Possible application: luminaires with flexible illumination patternsThe objective of this thesis is the development of a technology based on laser ablation with which blazed grating structures can be made with freely chosen shape parameters. Several host materials will be tried, and for each material a thorough characterization of the laser ablation process must be performed. This will result in a set of design rules that will allow a designer to start working. If the acquired results allow it, a first active test vehicle will be made with which active light steering can be demonstrated. This will imply – besides the laser ablation process – the application of a transparent conductor (ITO), cell filling with the liquid crystal / monomer mixture and the establishment of the blue phase condition.
Blue phase arrangement (source commons.wikimedia.org )
Micrograph of the blue phase (source www-g.eng.cam.ac.uk)
Display based on BPLC (Courtesy of Samsung)