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Proceedings Paper

In-situ isothermal phase transitions in photochromic liquid crystals
Author(s): Samantha J. Watson; Helen F. Gleeson; Antony D'Emanuele; Svetlana V. Serak; Vladimir A. Grozhik
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Paper Abstract

This study examines the optical response and physical properties of the homologous series 4-n-butyl-4'-n-alkoxyazobenzene. The members of this series all exhibit liquid crystalline phase behavior, and have also been used as dopants in 4-cyano-4'- n'pentylbiphenyl (5CB), a room temperature nematic liquid crystal. The guest-host system and the azobenzene series have been characterized using optical microscopy and UV-vis spectrophotometry. Illumination of these systems with light of a suitable wavelength induces a trans-cis isomerization of the azo- dye molecules which results in a reorientation of the liquid crystal director, often to such an extent that the liquid crystal phase is disrupted, causing an in situ isothermal phase transition. The response of the liquid crystal system to a linearly polarized beam of exciting radiation is examined with the use of a probe He:Ne laser. Changes in light transmission are then detected with a photodiode. Responses are discussed in terms of homologue, cell thickness and temperature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3282, Photosensitive Optical Materials and Devices II, (9 June 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.311532
Show Author Affiliations
Samantha J. Watson, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Helen F. Gleeson, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Antony D'Emanuele, Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)
Svetlana V. Serak, Institute of Electronics (Belarus)
Vladimir A. Grozhik, Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry (Belarus)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3282:
Photosensitive Optical Materials and Devices II
Mark P. Andrews, Editor(s)

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