Optically resolving dynamic processes in commercial liquid crystal cells

Smith, N. J.; Smith, N.J.; Sambles, J. R.; Sambles, J.R.
October 2000
Applied Physics Letters;10/23/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 17
Academic Journal
The recently developed fully leaky guided mode technique is a powerful tool for accurately resolving the director profile in standard, commercially fabricated liquid crystal cells. By employing a convergent beam to simultaneously excite many fully leaky guided modes, angular dependent reflectivity and transmissivity data can be captured in a fraction of a millisecond with a charge coupled device array, thus enabling the switching dynamics of the liquid crystal cell to be resolved. A preliminary study of the director profile (optical tensor distribution) during the relaxation of a homogeneously aligned cell (antiparallel rubbed) filled with the nematic material ZLI-2293 is presented here. By resolving the director distribution as a function of time, the time constant for the relaxation process is obtained from which the effective rotational viscosity coefficient γ[sup *] is then evaluated. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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