Researchers from Myongji University, Korea, have developed a way to improve liquid crystal displays (LCD), which could revolutionise display technology. Published today in the Institute of Physics journal Semiconductor Science and Technology, Professor Yong-Sang Kim and his team propose a new structure for polycrystalline silicon thin film transistors (poly-Si TFT), which makes them more reliable when used in active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD), like those on lap top screens and television screens.
An AMLCD has a transistor for each pixel on the screen, which can be switched on or off. Currently, most AMLCDs use amorphous-silicon (a-Si) transistors. Poly-Si TFTs, however, have several advantages over a-Si TFTs, as they are thinner, lighter and can make higher resolution displays. The down side is that when applying poly-Si TFTs to AMLCDs, they leak much more current than the a-Si TFTs. A high leakage current can cause the colour and brightness of the image to change, rather than stay constant.
Previous methods of minimising the leakage current have led to a reduction of the ‘on-state’ current (which is the current flowing through the circuit when the transistor is switched on). This leads to a flickering screen, and reduces the performance of other parts of the circuit. Professor Kim’s goal has been to lower the leakage current without sacrificing the on-state current. The results published today show that using his new gate insulator structure in the poly-Si TFTs, he reduced the leakage current by three orders of magnitude, with no loss to the on-state current.
Michelle Cain | alfa
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