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Proceedings Paper

Liquid crystal devices with continuous phase variation based on high-permittivity thin films
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Paper Abstract

Most liquid crystal devices use transparent conductive electrodes such as indium tin oxide (ITO) to apply a potential difference in order to achieve electro-optic switching. As an alternative, we study a device with narrow metallic electrodes in combination with dielectric layers with large dielectric permittivity. In this approach the applied voltage can be a continuous function of the lateral distance from the electrode line. Simulations for a one-dimensional beam-steering device show that the switching of the liquid crystal (LC) director depends indeed on the distance from the addressing electrodes and on the value of the relative permittivity. We show that in a device with electrodes spaced 60 µm apart, the LC director halfway between the electrodes shows a considerable reorientation, when a dielectric layer with permittivity of Epsilonr = 550 is used, whereas no reorientation is observed for the uncoated reference sample at the same voltage. An added advantage is that the proposed configuration only contains dielectric materials, without resistive losses, which means that almost no heat is dissipated. This indicates that this technology could be used in low-power LC devices. The results show that using dielectric thin films with high relative permittivity in liquid crystal devices could form a cost-efficient and low-power alternative to many LC technologies where a gradient electric field is desirable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9769, Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies XI, 97690P (7 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2209326
Show Author Affiliations
Oliver Willekens, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Kristiaan Neyts, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Jeroen Beeckman, Univ. Gent (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9769:
Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies XI
Liang-Chy Chien; Dick J. Broer; Hirotsugu Kikuchi; Nelson V. Tabiryan, Editor(s)

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