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What materials are used to make flat screens?

Updated February 21, 2017

A flat-screen TV refers to the flat-panel display of a television, as opposed to a screen with a curvature, which was commonly used in the past. Flat-screen TVs have utilised new technology to give them the clear, detailed picture display that is commonly found in plasma, LCD and LED flat screens.

Plasma

Plasma flat screens consist of tiny fluorescent lights used to form an image. Each fluorescent light is a colour pixel, such as green, red and blue. The plasma TV uses Xenon and neon gas that is charged with both protons and electrons (both positively and negatively charged). The gas is contained between two plates of glass. The flow of charged ions in the glass plates are what accounts for the crisp, clear television display.

Mercury

Flat-screen laptop displays can consist of small amounts of mercury. The use of mercury in backlit bulbs serves in the illumination effect of the flat-screen display. Only a small amount of mercury is used; typically from 0.12 to 5 mg. Mercury may reduce the amount of energy used by the laptop.

LCD

LCD flat screens are made of liquid crystal material called biphenyl. The liquid crystal is contained between two glass plates. A colour-filter glass displays the colour, and the liquid crystal moves between the colour-filter glass and the TFT glass through the voltage that is distributed.

LED

LED flat screens use light-emitting diodes, which are tiny light bulbs that use a light source to serve as pixels. Behind two glass panels, each light bulb is illuminated using charged electrons and protons to produce the colours seen in the screen.

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About the Author

Krista Martin has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written for magazines, newspapers and websites including Live Listings, "Homes & Living" magazine and the "Metro Newspaper." Martin holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Journalism from the University of Westminster.