Our lives are full of digital displays: clocks, watches, DVD players and computer or TV screens. Many of these make use of liquid crystal display (LCD) technology. Molecules in the liquid crystals have the structure of a solid, but can flow and drip like a liquid. When exposed to an electric current, the crystals change their optical properties in a predictable way.
Although the liquid crystalline nature of some materials was discovered in the 19th century, it took until the mid 20th century for a practical form to be discovered. George Gray (born 1926) and his research team at the University of Hull had been studying liquid crystals for a number of years, eventually developing cyanobiphenyl liquid crystals - the first to be stable at room temperature - in 1973.
Not long after this Gray and his team developed this into LCD technology. These new thin, light, low-powered displays were an overnight success, appearing in a range of electronic devices. In 1995 Gray received the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology.
- North East
- University of Hull
- Key Individuals
- George Gray,