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Theoretical analysis and numerical modeling indicate that, under high fields, the director of a thin region of liquid crystal close to the wall of a twisted nematic cell returns to the “easy” axis on the interface. Polarization conversion reflectivity signals are recorded for half-leaky guided modes from a twisted nematic cell subject to high ac fields. By fitting model theory to reflectivities recorded for a particular region of incidence angles, the director twist at the cell walls is deduced. In the high-field limit, this then gives the original director alignment axis, the easy axis, at the wall of a twisted nematic cell. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
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