How LCD Screens Function, and How They are Built

July 12, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Consumer Electronics,Technology

Today’s computer enthusiast takes his monitor for granted. Higher refresh rates, lower blue colors and other features help to lessen eye strain and provide a smoother experience. Thanks to new manufacturing technology, these monitors are also getting progressively more affordable. That puts better technology in the hands of people who will utilize that tech to its fullest potential.

Impact of Manufacturing

With thin film evaporation, manufacturers can build extremely precise objects, with very specific measurements, enabling cell phones and handheld gaming systems to display hundreds or thousands of colors. The thin-film aspect is important, because these devices manufacture objects without any kind of defect or imperfection on the surface.

LCD screens are made of liquid crystal, which is manipulated by electric current. A few things need to happen for this to be possible:

  1. The current must be able to pass through the surface of the screen in order to create the colors we see.
  2. A covering must be applied that doesn’t mash against the LCDs and create problems with the display.

Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, or PECVD, helps manufacturers create a thin film that won’t press up against the screen covering.  A polarizing film is then added to the equation, which changes how the light is reflected or displayed. The result is a display that changes as a current is applied.

Creating the World’s Most Basic LCD

The first step to creating the most basic LCD screen possible is to find two pieces of polarized glass. Once you have the glass, apply a thin film vacuum coating of polymers that create microscopic grooves in the glass. A coating of liquid crystals is also added, but only to one of the glass filters. The grooves basically force alignment so that the film and colors are displayed properly. This is why some TVs appear darker if viewed from the side. Once you have your glass/liquid crystal sandwich, you need electrodes to help display certain images or colors.

The electrical charge untwists the liquid crystals, which helps to adjust the angle of light that passes through the glass. So true black is basically blocking light from passing through the LCD screen. That’s why your TV needs a constant flow of energy, which it uses to manipulate electrodes around the screen in order to display the image that is being fed to you.