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Press Release Serrch
September 16, 2009

Sharp to Incorporate UV2A*1 Technology into Production of LCD Panels

A Core Technology for Next-Generation LCD Panels for TVs
Practical Application of Photo-Alignment*2 Technology, a World First*3

Sharp Corporation has developed a photo-alignment technology called UV2A Technology for LCD panels that can precisely control the alignment of liquid crystal molecules in a simple LCD panel structure. Sharp will fully incorporate this world-first technology as a core technology for the production of a new type of LCD panel that will significantly evolve LCD TVs to the next generation.

The ASV (Advanced Super View) technology thus far adopted by Sharp delivers high-resolution images to LCD TVs by precisely controlling the movement of liquid crystal molecules within a complex LCD panel structure. The next generation of TVs, however, must deliver groundbreaking performance in terms of image resolution and energy efficiency. That will require not merely an extension of past developments, but rather further innovation in LCD technology itself.

Thus Sharp has adopted a special material that responds to UV (ultraviolet) radiation and has developed UV2A Technology as a photo-alignment technology for the alignment film in LCD panels. This innovative technology, the result of combining proprietary materials developed by Sharp with UV exposure equipment and processing technologies, provides highly accurate control over the alignment of liquid crystal molecules in accordance with the direction of the radiation. It can be termed “pico-technology” in that it goes beyond nanotechnology to control the tilt angle of liquid crystal molecules, which are only around two nanometers*4 in size, with an accuracy measured in picometers.*5

In addition to eliminating light leakage from the backlight, making it possible to display extremely deep blacks, this technology also enables higher aperture ratios in the LCD panel for the most efficient use of light from the backlight, thereby saving energy while displaying bright, vivid colors. Sharp’s UV2A Technology will also be ideal for enhancing the performance of high-definition 4Kx2K displays and 3D TVs, which are expected to form the next generation of TVs.

Sharp will be introducing this technology across the board for panels to be produced at the new LCD panel plant in Sakai and at Kameyama Plant No. 2.

Major Features of LCD Panels Using UV2A Photo-Alignment Technology

1. High contrast ratio of 5000:1 for the display of extremely deep blacks (contrast ratio 60% higher than that of conventional panels).
2. High optical efficiency for outstanding energy efficiency (aperture ratio 20% higher than that of conventional panels).
3. Fast response time ideal for next-generation 3D TVs (double the speed of conventional panels).
4. Improved production efficiency resulting from simplification of panel structure.

*1 Abbreviation of Ultraviolet-induced Multi-domain Vertical Alignment.
*2 A process that ensures a uniform alignment of the liquid crystal molecules in a certain direction.
*3 On a production volume basis using large glass substrates of at least 6th generation or later. Based on Sharp research.
*4 A nanometer is one billionth (10–9) of a meter.
*5 A picometer is one trillionth (10–12) of a meter.

Overview of Photo-Alignment Technology

Press Release
A special proprietary material developed by Sharp is coated onto the glass substrate as an alignment film.
When exposed to UV light, the polymers in the alignment film orient themselves in the direction of the radiation.
The liquid crystal molecules then align themselves in the direction of the polymers in the alignment film.

The above information is true and accurate at the time of publication. Manufacture, sale, price and specifications of products may be subject to change.

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