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Crystals 2019, 9(4), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst9040183

Electro-Thermal Formation of Uniform Lying Helix Alignment in a Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Cell

Institute of Imaging and Biomedical Photonics, College of Photonics, National Chiao Tung University, Guiren Dist., Tainan 71150, Taiwan
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Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cholesteric Liquid Crystals)
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Abstract

We demonstrated previously that the temperature of a sandwich-type liquid crystal cell with unignorable electrode resistivity could be electrically increased as a result of dielectric heating. In this study, we take advantage of such an electro-thermal effect and report on a unique electric-field approach to the formation of uniform lying helix (ULH) texture in a cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) cell. The technique entails a hybrid voltage pulse at frequencies f1 and, subsequently, f2, which are higher and lower than the onset frequency for the induction of dielectric heating, respectively. When the cell is electrically sustained in the isotropic phase by the voltage pulse of V = 35 Vrms at f1 = 55 kHz or in the homeotropic state with the enhanced ionic effect at V = 30 Vrms and f1 = 55 kHz, our results indicate that switching of the voltage frequency from f1 to f2 enables the succeeding formation of well-aligned ULH during either the isotropic-to-CLC phase transition at f2 = 1 kHz or by the electrohydrodynamic effect at f2 = 30 Hz. For practical use, the aligning technique proposed for the first time in this study is more applicable than existing alternatives in that the obtained ULH is adoptable to CLCs with positive dielectric anisotropy in a simple cell geometry where complicated surface pretreatment is not required. Moreover, it is electrically switchable to other CLC textures such as Grandjean planar and focal conic states without the need of a temperature controller for the phase transition, the use of ion-rich LC materials, or mechanical shearing for textural transition. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectric heating; cholesteric liquid crystals; uniform lying helix dielectric heating; cholesteric liquid crystals; uniform lying helix
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Yu, C.-H.; Wu, P.-C.; Lee, W. Electro-Thermal Formation of Uniform Lying Helix Alignment in a Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Cell. Crystals 2019, 9, 183.

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