Wolfgang Helfrich

Wolfgang Helfrich
Wolfgang Helfrich
Associated organizations
Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Freie Universitaet
Fields of study


James Fergason, Wolfgang Helfrich, and Martin Schadt each contributed greatly to the development of twisted-nematic liquid crystal technology. The technology is the display of choice for laptop computers, mobile phones, television sets and hundreds of industrial and consumer products.

Working separately, Helfrich and Fergason conducted fundamental research that contributed to the establishment of twisted-nematic technology, with Helfrich and Schadt later collaborating on the development of a twisted-nematic cell, which led to the first liquid crystal display components. Twisted-nematic mode enabled the development of a practical flat panel display for a wide range of applications and is considered one of the most important technological achievements of the 20th century.

Dr. Helfrich is a professor at the Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Freie Universitaet in Berlin, Germany. He worked for the Canadian National Research Council, lectured at the Technical University in Munich, Germany and was a researcher at both the David Sarnoff Research Center in New Jersey and Hoffmann-La Roche in Switzerland. Dr. Helfrich has published more than 20 papers in the liquid crystal field and has received numerous awards, among them the Hewlett-Packard EPS Europhysics Prize. He holds a doctorate from the Technical University in Munich, Germany.