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Crystals 2017, 7(1), 8;

Designs of Plasmonic Metamasks for Photopatterning Molecular Orientations in Liquid Crystals

Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Harbor, MI 48109, USA
Institute of Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv 03028, Ukraine
These authors contribute equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir Chigrinov
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 24 December 2016 / Accepted: 26 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro and Nano Patterned Substrates for Liquid Crystal Alignment)
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Aligning liquid crystal (LC) molecules into spatially non-uniform orientation patterns is central to the functionalities of many emerging LC devices. Recently, we developed a new projection photopatterning technique by using plasmonic metamasks (PMMs), and demonstrated high-resolution and high-throughput patterning of molecular orientations into arbitrary patterns. Here we present comparisons between two different types of metamask designs: one based on curvilinear nanoslits in metal films; the other based on rectangular nanoapertures in metal films. By using numerical simulations and experimental studies, we show that the PMMs based on curvilinear nanoslits exhibit advantages in their broadband and high optical transmission, while face challenges in mask designing for arbitrary molecular orientations. In contrast, the PMMs based on nanoapertures, though limited in optical transmission, present the great advantage of allowing for patterning arbitrary molecular orientation fields. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid crystals; plasmonic metamasks; photoalignment; nanofabrication liquid crystals; plasmonic metamasks; photoalignment; nanofabrication

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Guo, Y.; Jiang, M.; Peng, C.; Sun, K.; Yaroshchuk, O.; Lavrentovich, O.D.; Wei, Q.-H. Designs of Plasmonic Metamasks for Photopatterning Molecular Orientations in Liquid Crystals. Crystals 2017, 7, 8.

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