The TV in Your Pocket: Development of Liquid-Crystal Materials for the New Millennium



New liquid crystals with very low viscosity, good mesophase behavior, and high reliability are necessary to achieve the breakthrough from flat computer monitors to large displays for television. Fluorine plays a decisive role not only because of the polarity it induces in organic molecules but also because of its low polarizability and weak propensity for ion solvation. In addition, subtle stereoelectronic effects in fluorine-containing liquid crystals influence material properties and allow these to be tuned to some extent to achieve the desired outcome. Some fairly sophisticated chemistry is required that is normally ruled out in the specialty chemicals industry because of cost. The television display market is now entering a phase of saturation. The broad availability of the internet has led to an ever increasing tendency for mobile products. Tablet PCs and smartphones require touch-panel functionality and low power consumption. New LCD modes with high-performance liquid crystals and additional components, such as polymerizable materials, can be used in such products.