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Tuning the alignment of liquid crystals by means of nano-structured surfaces

Forskningsöversiktsartikel
Författare Lachezar Komitov
Publicerad i Journal of the SID
Volym 16
Nummer/häfte 9
Sidor 919-925
ISSN 1071-0922
Publiceringsår 2008
Publicerad vid Institutionen för fysik (GU)
Sidor 919-925
Språk en
Ämnesord Liquid-crystal alignment, liquid-crystal anchoring, electrically commended surfaces
Ämneskategorier Ytor och mellanytor, Vätskefysik, Mesoskopisk fysik, Ytbehandlingsteknik, Materialfysik med ytfysik

Sammanfattning

The solid-surface/liquid-crystal interactions, defining the field-free alignment of the liquid crystal in conventional liquid-crystal displays, are playing a vital role in their optical appearance and performance. Nano- scale changes in the solid-surface structure induced by light have been recently shown to affect the anchoring strength and the easy-axis direction. Fine tuning of the anchoring strength is also demonstrated by nano- structuring of the Langmuir–Blodgett monolayer employed as liquid-crystal alignment layers promoting homeotropic orientation. On the basis of nano-engineering of the surface alignment properties, two novel alignment concepts have been introduced: electrically commanded surfaces (ECS) and high-performance alignment layers (HiPAL). Nano-structured polymers related to these concepts have been designed, synthesized, and used as materials for alignment layers in LCDs. ECS materials belong to the category of active alignment materials designed to mediate switching of the liquid crystal, whereas the HiPALmaterials make possible the control of the molecular tilt angle in a broad range, from 0° to 90°, and they seem to enable the control of the anchoring strength as well. The nano-structured alignment materials are strong candidates for implementation in a new generation of advanced liquid-crystal displays and devices.

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