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Ferroelectric switching of electrically commanded alignment layers for liquid crystal displays

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4 Author(s)
Drevensek-Olenik, I. ; Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia and J. Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, SI 1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia ; Kunstelj, K. ; Koncilija, J. ; Komitov, L.

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Optical second harmonic generation (SHG) was used to probe the structural and dynamic properties of electrically commanded alignment layers for liquid crystal displays. The layers were 200 nm thick and were made of siloxane-based side chain ferroelectric liquid crystal polymer (FLCP). The effect of an external dc electric field in the range of 0–2 Vm on the SHG signal was probed in an empty sandwich cell and in a cell filled with an isotropic liquid (hexadecane). In both cases the nonlinear induced polarization shows characteristics of the “V-shaped” switching, which is associated with a relatively minor reorientational perturbation of the film. This signifies a presence of domain structure, which is strongly pinned to the substrates. The values of switching times deduced from the SHG response are two orders of magnitude larger from the values obtained by optical birefringence measurements. This observation suggests that in the top surface layer of the FLCP, which is mainly responsible for the birefringence and also for the so-called electrically commanded surface effect, the reorientation of the polymer side chains takes place much faster than in the regions close to the substrate.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:100 ,  Issue: 7 )