Construction and Working Principle of LCD Display

What is a LCD(Liquid Crystal Display)?

A liquid crystal display or LCD draws its definition from its name itself. It is combination of two states of matter, the solid and the liquid. LCD uses a liquid crystal to produce a visible image. Liquid crystal displays are super-thin technology display screen that are generally used in laptop computer screen, TVs, cell phones and portable video games. LCD’s technologies allow displays to be much thinner when compared to cathode ray tube (CRT) technology.

Liquid crystal display is composed of several layers which include two polarized panel filters and electrodes. LCD technology is used for displaying the image in notebook or some other electronic devices like mini computers. Light is projected from a lens on a layer of liquid crystal. This combination of colored light with the grayscale image of the crystal (formed as electric current flows through the crystal) forms the colored image. This image is then displayed on the screen.


An LCD is either made up of an active matrix display grid or a passive display grid. Most of the Smartphone’s with LCD display technology uses active matrix display, but some of the older displays still make use of the passive display grid designs. Most of the electronic devices mainly depend on liquid crystal display technology for their display. The liquid has a unique advantage of having low power consumption than the LED or cathode ray tube.

Liquid crystal display screen works on the principle of blocking light rather than emitting light. LCD’s requires backlight as they do not emits light by them. We always use devices which are made up of LCD’s displays which are replacing the use of cathode ray tube.  Cathode ray tube draws more power compared to LCD’s and are also heavier and bigger.

How LCDs are Constructed?

LCD Layered Diagram
LCD Layered Diagram

Simple facts that should be considered while making an LCD:

  1. The basic structure of LCD should be controlled by changing the applied current.
  2. We must use a polarized light.
  3. Liquid crystal should able be to control both of the operation to transmit or can also able to change the polarized light.

As mentioned above that we need to take two polarized glass pieces filter in the making of the liquid crystal. The glass which does not have a polarized film on the surface of it must be rubbed with a special polymer which will create microscopic grooves on the surface of the polarized glass filter. The grooves must be in the same direction of the polarized film. Now we have to add a coating of pneumatic liquid phase crystal on one of the polarized filter of the polarized glass. The microscopic channel cause the first layer molecule to align with filter orientation. When the right angle appears at the first layer piece, we should add a second piece of glass with the polarized film. The first filter will be naturally polarized as the light strikes it at the starting stage.

Thus the light travels through each layer and guided on the next with the help of molecule. The molecule tends to change its plane of vibration of the light in order to match their angle.  When the light reaches to the far end of the liquid crystal substance, it vibrates at the same angle as that of the final layer of the molecule vibrates. The light is allowed to enter into the device only if the second layer of the polarized glass matches with the final layer of the molecule.

How LCDs Work?

The principle behind the LCD’s is that when an electrical current is applied to the liquid crystal molecule, the molecule tends to untwist. This causes the angle of light which is passing through the molecule of the polarized glass and also cause a change in the angle of the top polarizing filter. As a result a little light is allowed to pass the polarized glass through a particular area of the LCD. Thus that particular area will become dark compared to other. The LCD works on the principle of blocking light. While constructing the LCD’s, a reflected mirror is arranged at the back. An electrode plane is made of indium-tin oxide which is kept on top and a polarized glass with a polarizing film is also added on the bottom of the device. The complete region of the LCD has to be enclosed by a common electrode and above it should be the liquid crystal matter.

Next comes to the second piece of glass with an electrode in the form of the rectangle on the bottom and, on top, another polarizing film. It must be considered that both the pieces are kept at right angles. When there is no current, the light passes through the front of the LCD it will be reflected by the mirror and bounced back. As the electrode is connected to a battery the current from it will cause the liquid crystals between the common-plane electrode and the electrode shaped like a rectangle to untwist. Thus the light is blocked from passing through. That particular rectangular area appears blank.

Advantages of an LCD’s:

  • LCD’s consumes less amount of power compared to CRT and LED
  • LCD’s are consist of some microwatts for display in comparison to some mill watts for LED’s
  • LCDs are of low cost
  • Provides excellent contrast
  • LCD’s are thinner and lighter when compared to cathode ray tube and LED

Disadvantages of an LCD’s:

  • Require additional light sources
  • Range of temperature is limited for operation
  • Low reliability
  • Speed is very low
  • LCD’s need an AC drive

Applications of Liquid Crystal Display

Liquid crystal technology has major applications in the field of science and engineering as well on electronic devices.

  • Liquid crystal thermometer
  • Optical imaging
  • The liquid crystal display technique is also applicable in visualization of the radio frequency waves in the waveguide
  • Used in the medical applications

Few LCD Based Displays

Few LCD based displaysHope you have got good knowledge about LCD’s. Here I leave a task for you. How is an LCD interfaced to a microcontroller? furthermore any queries on this concept or on electrical and electronic project Leave your answer in the comment section below.

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  1. jay prakash rajpoot says:

    ok thank sir

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Suma,

      Thank you for your appreciation. please visit our website for more information.

      Raji (Mobile: +91 9959178000)

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