Sharp Corporation have jointly developed a new oxide semiconductor (IGZO) technology with high crystallinity. This material will enable even higher resolutions, lower power consumption, and higher performance touchscreens, as well as narrower bezel widths for LCD display panels used on mobile devices, such as smartphones. This jointly developed new IGZO technology imparts crystallinity in an oxide semiconductor composed of indium (In), gallium (Ga) and zinc (Zn). Compared to current amorphous IGZO semiconductors, it enables even smaller thin-film transistors to be achieved and provides higher performance.

New technology unveiled

New technology unveiled

This new material is expected to be adopted for use on LCD displays for mobile devices, such as smartphones where the trend toward higher screen resolutions is growing increasingly strong. Further, it can also be adapted for use in organic EL displays, which hold out high expectations for the future. Although challenges to commercialization remain in terms of both service life and production, the two companies will continue to push ahead with Research and Development, in anticipation of future market needs.

With the aim of early commercialization, LCD displays using this new IGZO technology, the two companies will also be pursuing Research and Development to expand the use of this material in non-display devices and to develop applications other than displays in the future.

Here is a look at the specifications of the prototype displays:

LCD

  • Screen size – 4.9 inch
  • Resolution (pixels) – 720 x 1280
  • Pixel density – 302 ppi
  • Envisioned application – Smartphones
  • Screen size – 6.1 inch
  • Resolution (pixels) – 2560 x 1600
  • Pixel density – 498 ppi
  • Envisioned application – Mobile devices

Organic EL display

  • Screen size – 13.5 inch
  • Resolution (pixels) – 3840 x 2160 (QFHD)
  • Pixel density – 326 ppi
  • Outstanding feature – White OLEDs + RGB color filters
  • Screen size – 3.4 inch
  • Resolution (pixels) – 540 x 960
  • Pixel density – 326 ppi
  • Outstanding feature – Flexible type

Sharp explains this technology by stating, “Single crystal IGZO is characterized by having a hexagonal structure when seen from the c-axis direction and a layered form when seen from the direction perpendicular to the c-axis. What we found in a IGZO layer is a hexagonal structure shown in a plane TEM image and a layered form shown in a cross-sectional TEM image, which indicates that the layer has a crystalline structure. What we found in a IGZO layer is a hexagonal structure shown in a plane TEM image and a layered form shown in a cross-sectional TEM image, which indicates that the layer has a crystalline structure. The name of the structure, the C-Axis Aligned Crystal (CAAC).

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