LCD

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LCD

(electronics)

LCD

LCD

(Liquid Crystal Display) A screen display technology developed in 1963 at the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, NJ. How LCDs work is quite amazing. Sandwiched between polarizing filters and glass panels, rod-shaped molecules of liquid crystals flow like water and bend light like crystal. The overwhelming majority of TV, computer and mobile device screens are LCDs (see LED TV). However, OLED is a newer technology that may eventually become the dominant screen display (see OLED). See liquid crystal.


Seven-Segment LCD Watch
Because it took so little power to move crystal molecules, LCD wristwatches and other monochrome LCD displays began to flourish in the 1970s. By the 1990s, color LCDs helped laptop sales boom, and LCD computer monitors outsold CRTs for the first time in 2003. (Image courtesy of the private collection of Peter Wenzig.)


Twisting and Straightening
The center segment of the "8" in the above illustration (courtesy of LXD, Inc.) shows how liquid crystal molecules twist to let light flow through. In a 4K TV set, 24 million segments are constantly twisting from 60 to 240 times per second. For a more in-depth explanation, see LCD example and LCD subpixels.

Reflective Vs. Backlit
In low-cost calculators and readouts, a reflector bounces ambient light back to the viewer (bottom of illustration). However, reflective displays may be unreadable in dim light. With backlit LCDs, a light below the reflector beams toward the viewer for a bright screen indoors (see transmissive LCD). Passive displays may be reflective or backlit, but active matrix TV and computer screens are always backlit (see LCD types and LED TV). See flat panel display, LCD vs. plasma, LCoS and indium.


Seven-Segment LCD Watch
Because it took so little power to move crystal molecules, LCD wristwatches and other monochrome LCD displays began to flourish in the 1970s. By the 1990s, color LCDs helped laptop sales boom, and LCD computer monitors outsold CRTs for the first time in 2003. (Image courtesy of the private collection of Peter Wenzig.)







LCD Vs. LED
LCDs and LEDs are widely used in combination as in this printer panel. Readouts are LCDs, but the indicator lights on billions of products are LEDs. LCD TVs use LED backlights (see LED and LED TV).
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