We introduce a simple method for fast switching of vertically-aligned nematic liquid crystals (LCs). When an electric field is applied to a patterned vertical alignment (PVA) LC cell, virtual walls are formed in the middle of the gaps between and at the center of the patterned electrodes. These virtual walls formed in a PVA cell results in the turn-off time being dependent on the pitch of the patterned electrodes as well as the cell gap. Therefore, a short response time can be achieved by fine patterning of pixel electrodes without requiring additional fabrication steps or complicated drive schemes. A similar behavior has been observed in switching of vertically-aligned LCs with positive dielectric anisotropy by an in-plane electric field.
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