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Materials 2018, 11(7), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071195

Process for a Reactive Monomer Alignment Layer for Liquid Crystals Formed on an Azodye Sublayer

1
Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2
Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington, MA 02421, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract

In this work, the detailed studies of surface polymerization stabilizing liquid crystal formed on an azodye sublayer are presented. The surface localized stabilization is obtained by free-radical polymerization of a dilute solution of a bi-functional reactive monomer (RM) in a liquid crystal (LC) solvent. To optimize the process for surface localized stabilization, we investigate the effects of several process parameters including RM concentration in LC hosts, the types of materials (either RM or LC), the photo-initiator (PI) concentration, ultra-violet (UV) polymerization intensity, and the UV curing temperature. The quality of surface localized stabilization is characterized and/or evaluated by optical microscopy, electro-optical behavior (transmission/voltage curve), the life test, and photo-bleaching. Our results show that, by carefully selecting materials, formulating mixtures, and controlling the polymerizing variables, the RM polymerization can be realized either at the surface or through the bulk. Overall, the combination of surface localized stabilization and photo-alignment offers an elegant and dynamic solution for controlling the alignment for LC, which could play a profound role in almost all liquid crystal optical devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: photoalignment; liquid crystals; reactive monomers; azo dye photoalignment; liquid crystals; reactive monomers; azo dye
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, J.; McGinty, C.; Reich, R.; Finnemeyer, V.; Clark, H.; Berry, S.; Bos, P. Process for a Reactive Monomer Alignment Layer for Liquid Crystals Formed on an Azodye Sublayer. Materials 2018, 11, 1195.

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