A technique has been developed for the high-throughput (HT) parallel screening of liquid crystal (LC) phase transitions, using optical anisotropic effects observed only in the LC state to allow the determination of melting and clearing points. A camera was used to monitor optical changes observed in arrays of LC samples upon heating, when illuminated with plane polarized light and viewed through a second polarizer aligned perpendicular to the plane of polarized light. Data was processed using Image Pro Plus, extracting values for the melting point and clearing point of each sample in the array. When compared with literature and conventional differential scanning calorimetry the new technique was found to be in excellent agreement, establishing the technique as a viable HT alternative. The method was used to analyze a 75 formulation library prepared using liquid handling for HT clearing point determination, showing the scope and power of the technique in the analysis of larger libraries. (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics.