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.
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.
- Energy harvesting LCD displays
- TVs, smartphones, desktop and laptop computers, tablets
- Car navigation screens, LCD signs, e-paper
- Devices that utilize standby mode for large portions of time
- Lower costs, and ease of manufacturing
- Fewer processing steps
- Reuse of structures
- More efficient use of chemical materials
- Enhanced device battery life