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Fundamentals of Active-Matrix

Liquid-Crystal Displays
===== SID 01 SHORT COURSE =====
Sang Soo Kim, Ph.D.
Vice President, AMLCD Div.
Semiconductor Business
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Kyunggi-Do, Korea
(S-2)
(Sunday, June 3, 2001)
Fundamentals of Active-Matrix
Liquid-Crystal Displays
I. Introduction
II. Liquid Crystal Displays
III. Structure of Color TFT-LCDs
IV. Basic Operation Principles &
Design of Color TFT-LCDs
V. Color TFT-LCD Fabrication Process
VI. Summary and Projections
I. Introduction
What is Liquid Crystal ?
Structure of L/C
Alignment of L/C
TN & STN Modes
Normally White and Black Modes
F
F
F
Fluorine
F
C N
Flexible Part Rigid Part
Alkyl group Biphenyl group Terminal Group
C C C N
C C C N
H N
What is Liquid Crystal ?
Figure 1. The structure of a L/C
Cyano Group
Terminal Group
C C
H H
H H
C C
H H
H H
H
...
Alkyl Chain
Solid
Crystalline
Smectic Phase Nematic Phase
Liquid
Isotrope
Liquid Crystalline
Tm
(Melting Point)
Tc
(Clearing Point)
Temperature
Phases of L/C vs. Temperature
Figure 2. Phases of a Liquid Crystal
* Operating Temperature Range for Display Application
Birefringence: n = - n
e
n
o
Dielectric Anisotropy: = - e o
D(Director)
n
o
o
n
e e
Structure of Liquid Crystal
D
E
D
E
p-type (n >0) n-type (n <0)
C N
F
Figure 3. Anisotropy of a L/C
F
C O
O
OC
2
H
5
ne > no ne < no
Nematic
n
Figure 4. Types of liquid crystal phases
n
n
n
n
n
Cholesteric
Chiral Dopant
Intermolecular Attraction: Long Axis > Short Axis
move
Figure 5. Types of Liquid Crystal Phases
Smetic C
(SmC)
n
Tilted to the layer
Smetic A
(SmA)
n
Perpendicular to the layer
move
Intermolecular Attraction: Short Axis > Long Axis
Alignment Layer
Glass Substrate
L/C Molecule
Alignment of Liquid Crystal
Figure 6. Liquid crystal alignment layer
Interaction: L/C Molecule & Substrate
STN Mode
= 90
180< < 270
TN and STN Modes
Figure 7. Orientation of L/C molecules in TN and STN cells
Mauguins Condition for TN: n? p = n? d x 2/ >
D~ 5m
Retardation for TN: n? d = 0.3~0.5m
TN Mode
( ) T = sin
2
u u
w u =
n d
2 2 2

1 1
2
+

_
,

1
]
1
+

/
/
ith

Design of TN Cell
u
T
3 15 35
1st Minimum (n d ~ 0.48m)
2nd Minimum (n d ~ 1.47m)
3rd minimum
Normal Black Mode
Figure 8. Design of TN cell
d~ 5m
(1st min.)
Gooch-Tarrys Law:
n=0.09~0.10 5m 14.7m
1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 0
100
50
0
90% Trans.
10% Trans.
Vsat
Vth
TN
Transmittance(%)
NW-Mode
TN-Mode
V-T Characteristics
Figure 9. V-T curves for TN and STN cells in NW mode
L/C Voltage (V)
(V
10
/V
90
~ 1.6)
STN
STN-Mode
(V
10
/V
90
~ 1.06)
Normal White (NW) Mode:
Higher C/R, True Black
Less Cell Gap Dependent
L/C
Polarizer(1)
Light On
Polarizer(2)
Light Off
Backlight Backlight
E
NW Mode TN Cell
Cross Nicols
Figure 10. Normally white mode TN cell
0 volt 5 volt
Optical
Rotation
No
Optical
Rotation
L/C
Polarizer(1)
Light Off
Polarizer(2)
Light On
Backlight Backlight
E
NB Mode TN Cell
Figure 11. Normally black mode TN cell
0 volt 5 volt
II. Liquid Crystal Displays
Passive and Active Matrix LCDs
Kinds of AMLCDs
TN (Twisted Nematic)
STN(Super TN)
DSTN(Double STN)
FLC(Ferroelectric LC)
GH(Guest-Host)
DS(Dynamic Scattering)
PDLC(Polymer Dispersed LC)
VA(Vertical Alignment)
IPS(In-plane Switching)
Liquid Crystal Operating Modes
Segment & Dot-Matrix Driving
Figure 12. Example of rendering an L/C image using direct driving
Segment Display
(7-segment)
Dot-Matrix Display
(5x7 matrix)
Multiplex Driving of Dot-Matrix Display
Figure 13. Example of rendering an L/C image by multiplex driving
y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7
x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6
Signal Electrodes
Scanning
Electrodes
x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6
y1
y2
y3
y4
y5
y6
y7
Projection Type: LCD Projector, OHP, Projection TV
Direct View Type: Notebook PC, LCD Monitor, Potable TV, ViewCam
Reflective Type: PDA, Cellular Phone, Game
Transflective Type : PDA, etc.
Application of LCDs
Blue Red Green
LCD(1)
LCD(2)
LCD(3)
Projection
Lens
Mirror
Mirror
Screen
Dichroic
Mirror
R G B
I I I
3I
Dichroic
Mirror
LCD Projector (3-Panel System)
Figure 14. LCD Projector using three black and white LCDs
Composed
Color Image
Lens System
Mirror
Screen
Mirror
Mirror
Lamp
LCD Panel
(Color)
LCD Projection TV (Single-Panel System)
R (I/3)
G(I/3)
B(I/3)
Figure 15. LCD projection TV using a color LCD
Spatially divided
Color Image
Color TFT-LCD Module (Direct View)
Figure 16. An example of direct view LCDs
LDI Chip
Chassis Unit
BEF
Diffuser
LGP
Backlight Lamp
Reflector
LCD Panel
Kinds of AMLCDs
Passive Matrix LCD (PMLCD)
Active Matrix LCD (AMLCD)
MIM-LCD
Diode-LCD
TFT-LCD
a-Si TFT-LCD
poly Si-LCD
Low Tem. poly-Si LCD
High Tem. poly-Si LCD
III. Structure of Color TFT-LCD
Color TFT-LCD Panel
Driving Circuit Unit
Backlight and Assembly Unit
? LCD Panel
? TFT-Array Substrate
? Color Filter Substrate
? Driving Circuit Unit
? LCD Driver IC (LDI) Chips
? Multi-layer PCBs
? Driving Circuits
? Backlight & Chassis Unit
? Backlight Unit
? Chassis Assembly
? LCD Panel
? Driving Circuit Unit
? Backlight & Chassis
Unit
PCB LDI
TCP
TFT-Array
Substrate
Color Filter
Substrate
Chassis
LGP
Lamp
Structure of Color TFT-LCD
Figure 17. Structure of a color TFT-LCD module
Color Filter Substrate
TFT-Array Substrate
TFT
Storage Capacitor
Pixel Electrode
(ITO)
Figure 18. The vertical structure of a color TFT-panel
Structure of Color TFT-Panel
Black Matrix
Color-Filter
(Blue)
Common Electrode
(ITO)
Polarizer
Polarizer
L/C
Seal
Bonding PAD
Short
Spacer
Alignment
Layer
FPC
Connector
Source PCB
Gate PCB
LCD Control
ASIC
LDI Chip
(Source)
LDI Chip
(Gate)
LCD panel
Structure of Driving Circuit Unit
Figure 19. Assembly of LCD driving circuits
Interface
Connector
Types of Backlight Units
Top-down
CCFL
(Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp)
Reflector
Light Diffuser
Figure 21. Two different types of LCD backlight systems
Edge-light
Diffuser
Light
CCFL
LGP
Reflector
Types of LCD Module Package
Driving Circuit
Unit
Chassis Unit
Flat TCP
CCFL
LGP
Reflector
Diffuser
LCD Panel
Figure 20. Slim type LCD module package
CCFL
(d<2.0mm)
Tapered LGP
(t<2.5mm)
Chassis
Bent TCP
Driving Circuit
Unit
Improvement of Backlight Brightness
Diffuser
Reflector Sheet Lamp Reflector
LGP
CCFL
Prism Effect
Prism Sheets
(BEF)
* BEF: Brightness Enhancement Film
Figure 22. Improvement of B/L brightness using BEF
IV. Basic Operation Principles and
Design of Color TFT-LCD
Operation of TFT-LCD Pixels
Gray Scale Generation
Color Generation
TFT Design
Storage Capacitor Design
Signal Bus-Line Design
Aperture Ratio
Design for Redundant
Break
Structure of Color TFT-Panel
n
(600)
3m (800xRGB)
Bonding Pad
TFT-Array
Substrate
(m x n) Resolution
(3m x n) active matrix
SVGA: 800 x RGB x 600
(2400 x 600) Matrix
Color-Filter
Substrate
Figure 23. Active matrix structure of a color TFT-panel
R G B
Unit Dot
(R,G,B sub-pixels)
Resolution # of Dot # of Pixel
Aspect
Ratio
Remark
320 x 240
76,800 230,400 4:3 Quarter VGA
640 x 400 256,000 768,000 16:10 EGA
640 x 480
307,200 921,600 4:3 VGA
800 x 480
384,000 1,152,000 15:9 Wide VGA
800 x 600
480,000 1,440,000 4:3 SVGA
1024 x 600
614,400 1,843,200 ~17:10 Wide SVGA
1024 x 768
786,432 2,359,296 4:3 XGA
1280 x 1024 1,310,720 3,923,160 5:4 SXGA
1400 x 1050
1,470,000 4,410,000 4:3 SXGA+
1600 x 1200
1,920,000 5,760,000 4:3 UXGA
1920 x 1200
2,304,000 6,912,000 16:10 Wide UXGA
2048 x 1536
3,145,728 9,437,184 4:3 QXGA
2560 x 2048
5,242,880 15,728,640 4:3 QSXGA
3200 x 2400
7,680,000 23,040,000 4:3 QUXGA
Figure 24. Resolution of color LCDs
Resolution of Color LCDs
Gate Bus-Line
Data Bus-Line
Figure 25. TFT-Array and its unit pixel
TFT-Array & Unit Pixel
TFT-Array Panel
Bonding Pad
Pixel Electrode
(ITO)
Storage Capacitor
(Cs)
TFT
Data
Bus-Line
Gate
Pixel Electrode
(ITO)
Drain
Storage Capacitor
(Cs)
Source
TFT
Common
Electrode (ITO)
Color-Filter
Black Matrix
Clc
TFT
Data Bus-Line
Pixel Electrode
(ITO)
Cs Clc
Common
Electrode (ITO)
Gate Bus-Line
Unit Pixel & Equivalent Circuit
Figure 26. Vertical structure of a pixel and its equivalent circuit
T(Vlc)
T(Vlc)
Vwhite
White
Display
Vlc
White
Vblack
Vblack
Black
Display
Black
Odd Frame Even Frame
AC Driving of TN-Mode
Figure 27. AC driving of a TN-mode L/C
<Vlc>eff = r.m.s. of (Vp-Vcom)
? TFT On : 27sec(odd-frame)
Ion
Cs
Vcom(+5V)
Clc
Pixel Electrode
Vd
+
(+8V)
Charge
Operation of Unit Pixel
Figure 28. Modeling of a unit pixel operation
+8V
? TFT Off :16.7msec(odd-frame)
+3V
Vcom(+5V)
Vd
+
(+8V)
Refresh
? TFT On : 27sec(even-frame)
Ion
-3V
+2V
Vcom(+5V)
Vd
-
(+2V)
? TFT Off :16.7msec(even frame)
Vcom(+5V)
Vd
-
(+2V)
-3V
+3V
Gn- 1
Gn
V1
+
Pixel Electrode
(ITO)
Storage
Capacitor (Cs)
Gn+1
20V
- 5V
- 5V
On On On
Off Off Off
Off Off Off
V2
-
V3
+
V1
+
V2
-
V3
+
Gate
Selection
Line-by-Line
Addressing
t
t
Active Addressing of (3x3) Matrix
Figure 29. An example of a (3x3) matrix pixel
Animation of a (3x3) Matrix
V11 V12 V13
V11 V12 V13
Odd Frame
G1
V21 V22 V23
V21 V22 V23
V11 V12 V13
Odd Frame
V31 V32 V33
V21 V22 V23
V11 V12 V13
V31 V32 V33
Odd Frame
G3
DC/DC
Converter
Control
ASIC
Data Signal
Source Driver ICs
G
a
t
e

D
r
i
v
e
r

I
C

s
Backlight Lamp
LCD Panel
DC Power
LCD Module
Pixel
Electrode
TFT
Inverter
Driving of LCD Panel
Figure 30. Driving of an LCD panel
LDI: LCD Driving IC
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 0
0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0
1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
Bit Image
in Memory
Pixels displayed
on Screen
Representation of Image on LCD
Figure 31. Representation of an image on an LCD
multiplexing
W
Gate Bus-Line
Source Drain
Pixel ITO
Gate
Data Line
L
Parasitic Capacitance of TFT
Figure 32. Parasitic capacitors of a TFT
Data Bus-Line
Gate Bus-Line
Source
Clc
Common Electrode
(C/F Substrate)
Cs
Drain
Staggered Structure
Process Margin
L Overlap (not avoidable)
Cds
Cgd
Cgs
L
Odd Frame
Even Frame
Vcom
Vg
V
On Off
Vp(t)
Vd
On
V = x V
p-p
(Clc + Cs + Cgd)
Cgd
Kickback Voltage
Wave Forms of Pixel Driving Voltages
Figure 33. Driving a pixel and the effect of the parasitic capacitance
Voffset
Vd + Vd
+ -
2
Tf = 1/60 sec
Vlc >Vcom
Vlc <Vcom
Tf = 1/60 sec
Vd + Vd
Voffset = - Vcom
+
-
2
t=0
<Vlc>eff = { Vp(t)-Vcom} dt
2 Tf
1
2Tf
?
2
V
Frame
Inversion
H-Line
Inversion
Dot
Inversion
(Flicker free)
2nd frame 3rd frame 1st frame Driving Method
Polarity Inversion Driving & Flickering
Figure 34. Polarity inversion driving methods
8 Gray-scale
L/C Voltage
Digital Data
(3-bit)
D2
D1
D0
White
Black
(101) (111) (000)
V1
V2
V3
V4
V5
V6
V7
V8
1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0
1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0
(011)
V1 V8 V2 V7
...
Transmittance
T1
T2
T8
T7
Gray Scale Generation
Figure 35. A gray-scale example of the 3-bit LDI
L/C Voltage (V)
2
3
= 8 gray scales
T
1
T
2
T
3
T
4
T
5
T
6
T
7
T
8
# of Color = 2 (R) x 2 (G) x 2 (B) = 2
n= # of data bits of LDI chip
n n n 3n
3 bit = 8-gray/RGB = 512 colors
4 bit = 16-gray/RGB = 4,096 colors
6 bit = 64-gray/RGB = 262,144 colors
8 bit = 256-gray/RGB = 16,777,216 colors
Analog IC =Continuous gray-scale =full color
Total # of Colors
Figure 36. Total number of LCD colors
R G B
2
6
=64
2
18
=262,144
5
6
5
5 1/4
5 2/4
5 3/4
6
1st 2nd 3rd 4th frame Average
6 5
Increasing Number of Gray Shades
Dithering
Frame Rate
Control
(FRC)
5 3/4 5 2/4 5 1/4
Reduced
Resolution
(2x2)
Unit Pixel
Figure 37. Dithering and frame rate control driving methods
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
=
=
=
=
=
L/C Voltage (V)
Trans. (%)
1.0 2.0 3.0 0
100
V1
V2
V3
V4
V5
V6
V7
V8
0
50
Gray Scale with a Linear L/C Voltage
Figure 38. Gray-scale generation with a linear L/C voltage
Gray Scale
2 7
100
50
0
Trans. (%)
1 3 4 5 6 8
1.0 2.0 3.0 0
100
V1
V2
V3
V4
V5
V6
V7
V9
V8
0
50
L/C Voltage (V)
Trans. (%)
Optimization of Gray Scale Curve
Figure 39. A gray-scale curve with an adjusted L/C voltage level
Gray Scale
2 7
100
50
0
Trans. (%)
1 3 4 5 6 8
16 32 48 64
100
50
0
Trans. (%)
Gray Scale
= 1.0
= 2.2
= 3.0
Light Sensitivity of Human Eye
Correction of Gray Scale
Figure 40. Gamma correction of the gray-scale curve
T = Tmax x ( gray # /Max. Gray)

Color Generation
Figure 41. The color generation of the LCD
400 500 600 700
Color-Filter
Spectra
R G
B
400 500 600 700
Backlight
Spectra
400 600 700
500 600 700
400 500 600 700
R
G
B
Transmitted
Lights
TFT-Array
Backlight
Color-Filter
R G B
10.4 inch VGA : 0.110mm x 0.330mm ( 77dpi )
12.1 inch SVGA : 0.1025mm x 0.3075mm ( 83dpi )
15.0 inch XGA : 0.099mm x 0.297mm (117dpi )
17.0 inch SXGA : 0.090mm x 0.270mm ( 94dpi )
21.3 inch UXGA : 0.090mm x 0.270mm ( 94dpi )
dpi : dot per inch
Sub-Pixel
~0.1mm
~0.3mm
R G B
Pixel Size and Resolving Power of Human Eye
Figure 42. Color mix of RGB sub-pixel in the LCD panel
~ 0.02
~30cm
~0.1mm
< 0.03 mixed color
Retina
Arrangement of RGB
Figure 43. Arrangement of the RGB color-filter
R G B
R G B
R G B
R G B
R G B
R G B
R
R
R
R G B
R G B
R G B
R G B
R G B
R
B
R
B
R
R G B
R G B
R G B
R G
R G B
R G B
G B
B
R
Simple
Simple
Simple
Poor / w. low res.
Simple
Difficult
Complex
Good
Complex
Difficult
Simple
Best
R G B
R G B
R G B
B R G
G B R
Array Design
C/F Fab.
Driving CKT
Color Mix
Stripe Mosaic Delta
Representation of Color
Figure 44. The color coordinates
A color = rR + gG + bB
r = R /(R + G + B)
g = G /(R + G + B)
b = B /(R + G + B)
with r + g + b = 1
Color Coordinates
r
g
b
(r, g, b)
R
G
B
Red (R)
Green(G)
Blue(B)
Primary Colors
(x, y)
X
Y
NTSC
(a)
R
G
B
(b)
(0.67, 0.33)
(0.21, 0.71)
(0.14, 0.08)
W
CIE Color Coordinates
Figure 45. The CIE color coordinates
Color Reproducibility of
Display (a) =
Area of (a)
Area of (NTSC)
X 100%
Color Balance
Color Reproducibility
or Color Saturation
Color Temperature