How LCDs Work.

How LCDs Work. - What Are LCDs? LCDs (Liquid Crystal...

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What Are LCDs? LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display) are common in our society today. They are used in many everyday items including digital clocks and watches, microwave ovens, and laptop computers. Recently, LCDs have been reaching the television market and are steadily taking over standard CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) televisions because of their small sizes and high image quality. Brief History Liquid crystals were first discovered in 1888 by Austrian botanist, Friedrich Reinitzer, when he melted cholesteryl benzoate. As temperature rose, it became a cloudy liquid, which then turned into a blue opaque substance when cooled. Eighty years later, in 1968, the company, RCA, developed the first operational LCD in the form of a timepiece. In 1970, the twisted nematic field effect in liquid crystals was patented. In 1971, the company, ILIXCO, produced the first LCDs based on the TN-effect. How LCDs Work Nematic phase liquid crystals are the types of liquid crystals that are used in LCD technology. An important property of liquid crystals is that electric current affects them. A type of nematic crystals called twisted nematics is naturally twisted. The molecules of these crystals have a slight twist from layer to layer, thus forming a helical structure. Applying electric currents to these liquid crystals untwists them to varying degrees, depending on the amount of voltage in the current. The type of nematic phase liquid crystals found in most LCDs are Ferroelectric liquid crystals. Because the molecules are arranged tightly in a helical structure, they can be twisted and untwisted in a matter of
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This essay was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course ENGL 149 taught by Professor Rheingans during the Spring '06 term at Cal Poly.

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How LCDs Work. - What Are LCDs? LCDs (Liquid Crystal...

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