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Is there a specific chemical that is used frequently in the production of liquid crystal displays? During my internet research so far, it seems as if the specific chemical composition of the liquid crystal does not matter very much. This website gives a list of apparently commonly used LCs. Are there one or two chemicals that are used in practically all common LCDs?

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  • $\begingroup$ I suspect that this information is closely guarded by the companies which produce LCD displays. $\endgroup$ – Chris Mueller Apr 22 '15 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisMueller: The alternative is that it's paten-protected in which case it's public but you're not permitted to use it without license. (and personally, I believe it's a combination of the two, with the general composition being patented and then secret additives giving the extra properties like very fast reaction time. $\endgroup$ – SF. May 7 '15 at 9:31
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The article Liquid Crystal Display: Environment & Technology (2013) provides a detailed list of chemicals often used in LCDs. There are a myriad of chemicals that are used, each serving a specific purpose for the functionality of LCDs.

However, for liquid crystals (LCs) themselves:

The composition of LC includes a bicyclohexyl compound (35-50% by weight), a cyclohexyl phenyl compound (15-25% by weight), a bicyclohexyl phenyl compound (20-25% by weight), and a cyclohexyl biphenyl compound (15-20% by weight).

The article states that there are typically 10-25 compounds used to manufacture LCs, with many mixtures used, depending on the application the LCD is used for.

The variations in mixtures result in differing chemical properties of alkyl or alkoxy side chains.

The back light unit has an interesting component:

The backlight unit (BLU) major constituent of LCD contains hazardous mercury to operate.

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