This chapter introduces the basic technological aspects of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and provides an overall perspective on LCD characteristics, with an emphasis on the design elements that affect image quality. After a brief review of liquid crystal technology, we describe many aspects related to the design of AMLCD monitors used in medical imaging systems.
Liquid crystal (LC) is an intermediate state of matter that possesses properties typical of solids (i.e., a crystalline structure with a highly ordered molecular arrangement), as well as properties associated with liquids (i.e., viscosity). LC materials are typically long organic molecules with a delocalized charge due to multiple unsaturated bonds and aromatic rings. Because of this charge delocalization, molecules are electrically polarized, forming strong dipoles. Most importantly, LC molecules tend to orient themselves loosely along a main axis (called a director) to form a unique spatial configuration determined by the elasticity, viscosity, and deformation constants.
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