A tenth of a gram of magic cuts down on energy

Treating nature and its resources responsibly is the heart of sustainable behavior. Because we consider this to be our duty as well, we develop and commercialize products that help save energy. For instance, touchscreens containing our liquid crystals reduce the energy consumed by smartphones and tablets. This is made possible thanks to a liquid crystal technology we developed known as ultra-brightness fringe-field switching (UB-FFS), which earned us the 2015 German Innovation Award.


more light transmittance thanks to our liquid crystal mixtures


less energy consumed by the device thanks to our UB-FFS technology

2,500 patents

We hold 2,500 patents for liquid crystal technologies

Approximately 80%

of the smartphones and tablets with LCD screens utilize our liquid crystals

Touchscreen mobile devices have revolutionized our day-to-day lives and fundamentally altered our communication culture. When you swipe your fingers across the screen of your mobile device, you are setting into motion liquid crystal molecules most likely made by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Only a tenth of a gram of such a liquid crystal mixture is needed to illuminate a smartphone or tablet.

Yet mobile devices these days must have more than vivid, high-resolution displays – they also need to consume as little energy as possible. To meet this challenge, we have developed the innovative liquid crystal technology known as UB-FFS, which was launched in 2014.

How does this technology work? Let’s say you’re watching a video on a display with the brightness turned all the way up, which accounts for half of a mobile device's power consumption. This is where UB-FFS comes into play. UB is short for “ultra brightness”, called such because it allows the liquid crystal layer to transmit up to 15% more of the display's backlighting. What's more, this “extra” light is utilized to provide superior image resolution. Devices with UB-FFS consume up to 30% less energy and have a longer battery life. This technology also improves display quality, which allows users to more easily read the screen from a variety of angles.

We hold more than 2,500 patents relating to liquid crystal technology. Backed by this expertise, we will continue to enhance the display properties of end devices.

Fast Fact

For pioneers and visionaries: Our Displaying Futures Symposium

Our customers and partners inspire us to new heights – it is only through close cooperation that we can achieve pioneering developments such as our UB-FFS technology. We seek to more deeply engage with those who think far into the future and bring groundbreaking technologies to the world. This is why we instituted our annual Displaying Futures Symposium, which was held in November 2015 for the sixth time. Under the banner “The Future is HOW? Inspired by Performance Materials”, a wide variety of experts from across the globe convened in San Francisco, CA (USA) to discuss the use of materials and high-tech chemicals in future high-quality applications.

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