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Proceedings Paper

Flexoelectric polarisation effects in nematic liquid crystal phase gratings
Author(s): C. L. Trabi; A. A. T. Smith; N. J. Mottram; C. V. Brown
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Paper Abstract

Nematic phase gratings have been studied in which a planar nematic layer of thickness 17.2 μm is sandwiched between two glass substrates coated with an alignment polymer. The upper substrate is a continuous earth plane and the lower substrate has a patterned electrode of interdigitated stripes (electrodes and gaps are both 40 μm wide). Reorientation of the nematic liquid crystal occurs in response to d.c. electric fields applied between the interdigitated electrodes. These nematic reorientation regions have been used to investigate the influence of the flexoelectric polarisation in the nematic liquid crystal by observing the resultant (i) movement of tilt fringes in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, and (ii) optical diffraction patterns. In the Mach-Zehnder interferometer the periodic variation of the refractive index resulting from the periodic distortion profile is measured directly from the displacement of the tilt fringes. The asymmetry in the response to positive and negative polarities of the d.c. voltage for both measurement techniques is directly related to the sum of the flexoelectric coefficients, e1 + e3.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 August 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7050, Liquid Crystals XII, 70500R (27 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.794912
Show Author Affiliations
C. L. Trabi, Nottingham Trent Univ. (United Kingdom)
A. A. T. Smith, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
N. J. Mottram, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
C. V. Brown, Nottingham Trent Univ. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7050:
Liquid Crystals XII
Iam Choon Khoo, Editor(s)

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