Soon, car LCD screens to work in extreme cold, heat

Soon, car LCD screens to work in extreme cold, heat

An inventor from the University of Central Florida has solved a stubborn problem of how to keep the electronic displays in your car working whether you are driving in the frigid depths of winter or under the broiling desert sun.

LCD screens are increasingly becoming an integral part of automobiles, whether it is GPS mapping, rear-view camera view or audio systems. But the displays get blurry and sluggish in extreme temperatures.

“Liquid crystals exist only in a certain temperature range. In order to work in extreme environments, we need to widen that temperature range,” said researcher Shin-Tson Wu from University of Central Florida.

Wu and his collaborators formulated several new liquid crystal mixtures that do not have the temperature limitations of those now in use.

The liquid crystals should maintain their speed and viscosity in temperatures as high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition, the pixels are able to change their brightness level about 20 times faster than required by automotive standards, said the study reported recently in the journal Optical Materials Express.

The breakthrough has applications in the automotive industry and with any other manufacturer of devices with LCD screens.

Wu is currently working on a smart brightness control film that has applications for automobiles, planes, eyewear, windows and more.