Computer simulations on Fabry-Perot liquid crystal tunable filters are performed in the 3–5 and 8–12 μm bands and some discrete laser lines. Effects of transmittance, contrast ratio and response time on liquid crystal birefringence, layer thickness, absorption coefficient and reflectivity of mirrors are analyzed. Absorption spectra and responsible mechanisms of liquid crystals in the 2.5–20 μm region are studied. The fluorinated tolane and diphenyl-diacetylenes and dialkyl diphenyldiacetylenes are found to possess low absorption in the mid-IR range. Mixtures of these compounds will find useful applications for the proposed IR tunable filters.