Sidewall control of static azimuthal bistable nematic alignment states

S. Ladak, A.J. Davidson, C.V. Brown, N.J. Mottram

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Stable azimuthal alignment states have been created in the plane of a homogeneous layer of nematic liquid crystal by the action of one or more sawtooth sidewalls. The alignment states in devices with two sawtooth sidewall structures, either in-phase or in anti-phase, and with one sawtooth wall opposite a flat wall have been investigated as a function of the sawtooth pitch. The optical textures of the observed states are in excellent agreement with the predictions of nematic Q-tensor theory. The frequencies of occurrence of the different states are broadly consistent with the expected inverse correlation with the Q-tensor predictions for their energy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number085114
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • nematic liquid crystal
  • surface effects
  • bistable states


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