Liquid Crystal is a state of matter between liquid and crystalline solid in which LC molecules align in an ordered array (Yeh 5). LC molecules are anisotropic to light, meaning that they exhibit properties with different effects when oriented in varied directions (Yeh 5).
We will focus on the nematic phase (see Figure) of liquid crystal, as when aligned, the optical properties of the nematic phase are helpful in liquid crystal displays. Nematic phases are made up of rod-shaped molecules that are ordered with their long axes (the ones used with LCD are uniaxial) approximately parallel (Cristaldi 12).
Cristaldi, David, Pennisi, Salvatorre and Francesco Pulvirenti. Liquid Crystal Display Drivers: Techniques and Circuits. Springer Science+Business Media B.V, 2009.
Yeh, Pochi and Claire Gu. Optics of Liquid Crystal Displays. Canada: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1999.