Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Display Device with Photovoltaic Capability

Technology #4629

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Lingjie Jay Guo
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-764-8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending

UM File # 4629

Almost all computing devices today contain liquid crystal displays (LCDs). However, LCDs exhibit poor efficiencies. Only about 3-8% of light produced by an LCD backlight is converted into a viewable image, and LCD screens can use up to 33% of a laptop’s power. Since LCD screens occupy a large fraction of a computing device’s surface area, and are often exposed to ambient light, they are ideal candidates for energy harvesting using photovoltaics.
Technology Description
Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a technology for LCD color filters that can harvest energy from ambient light using integrated photovoltaics. The underlying structures used in this technology obviate the need for a liquid crystal alignment layer, polarizer sheets, and transparent electrodes, thereby making the LCD cheaper and easier to manufacture. The proposed technology is thin-film-stack-based, and can be configured as an energy harvesting transmission color filter or a reflective color filter.
Applications • Energy harvesting LCD displays o TVs, smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, tablets o Car navigation screens, LCD signs, e-paper o Devices that utilize standby mode for large portions of time
Advantages • Lower costs, and ease of manufacturing o Fewer processing steps o Reuse of structures o More efficient use of chemical materials •Enhanced device battery life