New materials with better properties could soon be coming to a LCD-TV near you

The most common application of liquid crystal technology is in liquid crystal displays (LCDs). This type of display has many uses ranging from simple calculators to colour LCD televisions.

LCD is currently the technology of choice for flat panel displays. But there are rival alternatives on the horizon, for example optical light emitting diode technology.

By discovering a new class of LCD materials with better properties than those currently used in flat panel LCD-TVs, Matthias Bremer and Lars Lietzau at Merck KGaA, Germany, are hoping to stave off competition from these new technologies.

Bremer believes they have taken the first step in this direction. ’The new materials clearly offer improvement over the state-of-the-art that is currently employed in commercial products,’ he explains.

Merck KGaA is busy preparing these materials for commercial application. Improving the process development and the large scale production of this new substance class are being targeted.

Bremer hopes the materials will be introduced to the market by the end of 2005.

Meriel Dyche