Window to LCD display at the flick of a switch

Windows that can transform into LCD displays at the touch of a button could hit the market after the development of transparent light shutters by a group of researchers at a South Korean University. The team from Pusan National University recently published their findings in the applied physical sciences journal AIP Advances.

The researchers’ LCD technology can flick between transparent and opaque states, which should pave the way for clear glass that can transform into a fully-functional screen.

Whilst transparent display developments have moved into a number of applications, including digital signage, the Pusan team say creating them from conventional organic light-emitting diodes has been difficult.

Tae-Hoon Yoon, primary investigator, told AIP: "The transparent part is continuously open to the background. As a result, they exhibit poor visibility."

The team sets out problems posed by light shutters, which use liquid crystals that can be switched between transparent and opaque states by scattering or absorbing the incident light.

They argue that, with this approach, black colour cannot be achieved and the background can never be completely blocked. They also raise concerns regarding energy efficiency and the length of time they take to turn on and off.

The new technique, set out in AIP Advances, can obviate all the issues raised as it uses scattering and absorption at the same time.