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Patent highlights

21 Jan 2005

The pick of this week’s applications including a reflective LCD based on a paper substrate.

•  Title: LCD on flexible substrate
Applicant: Conoptix, Sweden
International application number: WO 2005/004094
Inventors at Swedish firm Conoptix are trying to patent a reflective LCD based on a paper substrate. Because paper’s surface is a lot rougher than other substrates such as glass or plastic, the authors found problems using indium-tin-oxide (ITO) for electrodes. To overcome this, one surface of the paper is coated with a polymer. The authors say this polymeric coating also prevents liquid crystal diffusing into the paper and contaminants diffusing into the liquid crystal. They add that it would be possible to make paper-based LCDs in high-volumes and cost-effectively. “It will be possible to have LCDs on disposable products, such as packaging,” add the authors. “It will also be easier to make an LCD as an integral part of other products.”

•  Title: Method and apparatus for generating mid and long IR wavelength radiation
Applicant: BAE Systems Information and Electronics Systems Integration Inc, US
International application number: WO 2005/003845
Defense giant BAE Systems has applied to patent a laser system capable of producing a tunable output between 5 and 20 microns. The company says these wavelengths are useful for countermeasure applications as well as detecting pollutants or chemical warfare agents in the atmosphere. The system is based on a cadmium germanium arsenide optical parametric oscillator (OPO).

•  Title: Method and device for producing extreme ultraviolet radiation or soft x-ray radiation
Applicant: Commissariat Energie Atomique, France
International application number: WO 2005/004555
The French CEA claims its hybrid method of producing EUV radiation at 13.5 nm avoids the disadvantages of both laser-produced and gas-discharge-produced approaches. As well as offering a high degree of flexibility for various applications, the inventors claim their approach is cost-effective as it does require high powers to produce the plasma. Although several approaches are discussed in the patent, one involves focusing a laser on a target to produce a plasma then using a discharge to heat and compress the plasma to produce EUV light.

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