Grad student Bryan Ringstrand helped develop the new liquid crystals
After five years of effort, chemists at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University have developed a new class of liquid crystals with an electric dipole that’s over twice that of existing liquid crystals... that’s good, right? Yes, it is. An electric dipole consists of two equal yet opposing electrical charges (i.e: positive and negative) within a molecule, that are physically separated from one another. The greater the distance between them, the larger the dipole. In liquid crystals, larger dipoles result in the ability to switch between bright and dark states faster, and lower threshold voltages – this means it requires less voltage to get them moving.