Static alignment states in a bistable azimuthal nematic device with blazed grating sidewalls

Nigel Mottram, Carl Evans, Carl Brown, Andrew Davidson

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Abstract

Bistable azimuthal alignment has been produced in channels of homogeneous nematic liquid crystal with periodic grating sidewalls. The grating morphologies included a symmetric triangular profile (blaze/pitch (b/p) = 0), an asymmetric highly blazed sawtooth profile (b/p = 0.5) and profiles with different amounts of blaze asymmetry between these two extremes. The observed optical textures and the trend in the relative frequency of occurrence of the two stable states as a function of the asymmetry were in agreement with the predictions of n-director-based Frank-Oseen nematic continuum theory. A sidewall grating morphology with an intermediate degree of blaze asymmetry, b/p = 0.3, gave the highest optical contrast between the bistable states.
Original languageEnglish
Article number495105
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume43
Issue number49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2010

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Keywords

  • liquid crystal
  • grating sidewalls
  • bistable azimuthal alignment
  • nematic liquid crystal

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