From displays to devices

Find out more about our development of new technologies for Sharp's products

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Displays

Displays are an indispensable component in many of today’s consumer electronics, automotive and industrial products. Sharp has pioneered the technology and manufacturing of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) since the 1980s and today we produce industry-leading display components for products including mobile phones, cars, televisions and digital signage. Sharp Laboratories of Europe has been at the forefront of displays research for more than twenty five years and is proud to have delivered many inventions which have improved these products.

As a research team, our mission is to invent original technologies which improve the functionality and user experience of devices which use Sharp’s displays. This includes work to develop today’s LCD and organic LED (OLED) products and also to create new technology for future generations of displays. We are fortunate to have extensive facilities at our Oxford laboratory, in particular cleanrooms and chemical laboratories, tools for materials, device and optical characterisation, and advanced simulation software. Our team of physical scientists and engineers blends core knowledge of displays with expertise in photonic device development, materials, semiconductors and electronics. We work in very close collaboration with R&D and manufacturing colleagues elsewhere in Sharp, particularly in Japan.

We are active members of the UK Chapter of the Society for Information Display (SID) and collaborate with industrial and academic partners to deliver advances in display technology. We also pride ourselves as an effective route for European industry and academia to introduce new technologies directly to the relevant divisions of Sharp's display business in Japan. We welcome any contact through displaysresearch@sharp.co.uk.

Current topics:

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs): LCD are the most widely used information displays because their excellent characteristics are suitable for products ranging from mobile devices through to large area signage. Building on decades of research into LCD materials and optical designs - including creating no-glasses 3D LCD and displays with integrated privacy function - our team is creating original optical designs for LCD which squeeze even more performance and functionality from this technology.

Organic LED (OLED) Displays: OLED displays offer unique features for mobile devices including very high contrast ratio and enabling novel product designs such as foldability. Our team of optical and mechanical engineers is working to identify new materials and structures for OLED displays and panels which unlock new performance levels of light output, colour accuracy and mechanical flexibility.

Quantum Dot LED Displays (QD-LED): QD-LED is a future display technology which will provide an unsurpassed combination of high contrast, brightness and saturated colour. Our team is developing high performance and reliable quantum dot LEDs which will become the sub-pixels of tomorrow's best displays, including work to improve materials, structures and fabrication processes.

Thin Film Transistor (TFT) circuit design: TFT circuits are a vital element of all high-performance displays. An OLED display on a mobile device has several million TFT-based circuits, every one of which much deliver precisely controlled currents of pA or nA into a sub-pixel's LED. Our team of electronic engineers create, optimise and test new TFT sub-pixel circuit concepts, especially based on Sharp's strength in low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) and indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) TFT technologies.

Advanced interfaces for displays: Sensors integrated with displays provide a vital condiut for interaction between a user and many products. Touch sensors, fingerprint sensors and cameras are essential components which are ever more tightly integrated with all display technologies. Our team is developing new sensors to improve the functionality of displays and make interaction with the content of the display even more natural.