Ring-shaped liquid crystal structures through patterned planar photo-alignment
Berteloot, Brecht (Author), Nys, Inge (Author), Poy, Guilhem (Author), Beeckman, Jeroen (Author), Neyts, Kristiaan (Author)

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Patterned liquid crystal (LC) configurations find widespread applications in functional devices such as lenses, gratings, displays and soft-robots. In combination with external stimuli such as an applied electric field, photo-alignment at the surfaces offers an attractive way to stabilize different LC structures in the bulk of a device. Herein, a planar LC cell is developed using a photo-alignment layer at the bottom substrate and a rubbed nylon film at the top substrate. Patterned planar photo-alignment is achieved by modulating the linear polarization with a spatial light modulator (SLM) and projecting the pattern onto the bottom substrate. A ring pattern is written into the photo-alignment layer with a continuous rotation between an inner radius and an outer radius. In the other regions the alignment is parallel to the rubbing direction at the top substrate. Four different LC configurations are observed: structure A in which a ring-shaped region is formed with an out of plane (vertical) orientation perpendicular to the substrate, structure B which has a single disclination loop and a 180° twist at the inner region of the photo-patterned ring ($r$ < $r_{in}$), structure C which has no discontinuities but a 360° twist in the inner region of the photo-patterned ring ($r$ < $r_{in}$) and structure D with 2 disclination loops. The LC director configuration for all 4 structures is simulated through finite element (FE) Q-tensor simulations and the optical transmission for each structure is simulated using a generalized beam propagation method.

Keywords:soft matter physics, liquid crystals
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FMF - Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Number of pages:str. 4999-5008
Numbering:Vol. 16, iss. 21
ISSN on article:1744-683X
DOI:10.1039/d0sm00308e This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:25001731 This link opens in a new window
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Soft matter
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
COBISS.SI-ID:19616551 This link opens in a new window

Document is financed by a project

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding Programme:H2020
Project no.:834256
Name:Interacting optical and topological solitons in frustrated cholesterics

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project no.:P1-0099
Name:Fizika mehkih snovi, površin in nanostruktur

Secondary language

Keywords:fizika mehke snovi, tekoči kristali

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