Liquid-crystal displays: Fabrication and measurement of a twisted nematic liquid-crystal cell

Amer Chemical Soc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal Of Chemical Education, 2004, 81 (6), pp. 854 - 858
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Examples of technologies that utilize the liquid crystalline phase of matter are not difficult to find. The liquid-crystal display is the most common application: twisted nematic liquid-crystal displays are found in digital wristwatches, microwave ovens, mobile phones, and video recorders. Worldwide, sales of flat-screen liquid-crystal displays have been projected to reach $47 billion in 2004 (1). With this in mind, intense efforts by researchers in industry and in academia continue to be made into the synthesis of new liquid-crystal compounds and the characterization of their properties (2). Applications of polymerizable liquid crystals have also been of great interest since the discovery of Kevlar and Nomex by Stephanie Kwolek at Du Pont. The casting of nanostructured and nanocomposite materials such as periodic mesoporous metals and metal alloys from lyotropic liquid crystals is another interesting materials science application of ordered mesophases (3, 4). Despite these advances, undergraduate chemistry students are still unlikely to encounter liquid crystals in the course of their experimental studies (5).
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