Structure and morphology of polymer-stabilized cholesteric diffraction gratings

Kang, S. W.; Kang, S.W.; Sprunt, S.; Chien, L. C.; Chien, L.C.
June 2000
Applied Physics Letters;6/12/2000, Vol. 76 Issue 24
Academic Journal
We report a study of polymer network morphology in planar diffraction gratings formed from polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystals. Photopolymerizing a mesogenic monomer yields a regular sawtooth morphology, composed of polymer sheets running at an acute angle between thick, uniformly aligned bundles which reside on the opposing substrates. To explain this morphology and evidence of two grating vectors in the diffraction pattern, we propose a model for the liquid-crystal director where out-of-phase twists at the surfaces gear into an interior twist, which has half the period of the surface twist, via splay distortions running between the substrates. The morphology also changes significantly when a nonmesogenic monomer is substituted or when selectively polarized states of UV radiation are used to cure the polymer. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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