Electronic – How exactly is an LCD damaged by DC current


LCD displays are driven by AC waveforms. I've seen many references referring to permanently damaging them with DC current. When exposed to DC, LCD's fail and conduct excessive current. My question is: what exactly changes physically? Does a contact become "plated" with liquid crystal molecules preventing current flow? Do electrons permanently migrate? Are molecules broken down?

Best Answer

A LCD segment consists of a cell filled with liquid with very thin transparent electrodes on either side.

LCD cell

If a DC voltage is applied to this metal is transferred from the anode to the cathode resulting in the anode getting thinner. Eventually the anode will fail or its resistance will increase reducing its effectiveness.

Excessive current will be caused by metallic whiskers growing between the electrodes by the same mechanism effectively shorting the electrodes. Imagine that you have a high point on one surface the electric field is stronger at the high point so it attracts more metal ions making it higher making the field stronger......

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