Bright-polarizer-free, active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs) are formed on plastic substrates. The primary components of the display are a pixel circuit fabricated on one plastic substrate, an intervening liquid-crystal material, and a counter electrode on a second plastic substrate. The-pixel circuit contains one or more thin-film transistors (TFTs) and either a transparent or reflective pixel electrode manufactured at sufficiently low temperatures to avoid damage to the plastic substrate. Fabrication of the TFTs can be carried out at temperatures less than 100.degree. C. The liquid crystal material is a commercially made nematic curvilinear aligned phase (NCAP) film. The counter electrode is comprised of a plastic substrate coated with a transparent conductor, such as indium-doped tin oxide (ITO). By coupling the active matrix with NCAP, a high-information content can be provided in a bright, fully plastic package. Applications include any low cost portable electronics containing flat displays where ruggedization of the display is desired.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.