From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2015
Liquid crystal is a representative soft matter, which has physical properties between those of conventional liquid and those of crystal in a temperature range above a melting point. A liquid-crystal display (LCD) employs the response of the liquid-crystal alignment to the electric field and is a key device of an information display. For common LCDs, the precise control of the initial alignment of LC molecules is needed so that a good dark state, thus a high contrast ratio, can be obtained. If the birefringence can be induced in the liquid phase by the application of electric field, it is of great use as a material for the LCD application. In this study, we will report a unique property of dichiral azobenzene liquid crystals: an electric induction of birefringence in a liquid phase of an antiferroelectric dichiral azobenzene liquid crystal. The optically isotropic texture changes into the homogenous birefringent texture by the application of the in-plane electric field above the clearing temperature of the liquid crystal. We find that one of the possible reasons of the induction of the birefringence in the isotropic phase is the electrically-induced increase of the phase transition temperature between the antiferroelectric liquid-crystalline and “liquid” phases, i.e., increase in the clearing temperature. The resulting birefringence can be disappeared by the irradiation of UV light, due to the photoinduced isomerization of the azobenzene compound, thus dual control of the birefringent structure, by the irradiation of light and/or by the application of the electric field, is achieved.
Takahiro Yamamoto and Isa Nishiyama, "Electrical induction and optical erasure of birefringence in the isotropic liquid phase of a dichiral azobenzene liquid-crystalline compound (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9565, Liquid Crystals XIX, 956508 (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 09, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2186890.4519371801001.
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