The success of nematic liquid crystals in displays and optical applications is due to the combination of their optical uniaxiality, fluidity, elasticity, responsiveness to electric fields and controllable coupling of the molecular orientation at the interface with solid surfaces. The discovery of a polar nematic phase opens new possibilities for liquid crystal-based applications, but also requires a new study of how this phase couples with surfaces. Here we explore the surface alignment of the ferroelectric nematic phase by testing different rubbed and unrubbed substrates that differ in coupling strength and anchoring orientation and find a variety of behaviors - in terms of nematic orientation, topological defects and electric field response - that are specific to the ferroelectric nematic phase and can be understood as a consequence of the polar symmetry breaking. In particular, we show that by using rubbed polymer surfaces it is easy to produce cells with a planar polar preferential alignment and that cell electrostatics (e.g.grounding the electrodes) has a remarkable effect on the overall homogeneity of the ferroelectric ordering.

Surface alignment of ferroelectric nematic liquid crystals / F. Caimi, G. Nava, R. Barboza, N.A. Clark, E. Korblova, D.M. Walba, T. Bellini, L. Lucchetti. - In: SOFT MATTER. - ISSN 1744-683X. - 17:35(2021), pp. 8130-8139. [10.1039/d1sm00734c]

Surface alignment of ferroelectric nematic liquid crystals

F. Caimi
Primo
;
G. Nava;T. Bellini
Penultimo
;
2021

Abstract

The success of nematic liquid crystals in displays and optical applications is due to the combination of their optical uniaxiality, fluidity, elasticity, responsiveness to electric fields and controllable coupling of the molecular orientation at the interface with solid surfaces. The discovery of a polar nematic phase opens new possibilities for liquid crystal-based applications, but also requires a new study of how this phase couples with surfaces. Here we explore the surface alignment of the ferroelectric nematic phase by testing different rubbed and unrubbed substrates that differ in coupling strength and anchoring orientation and find a variety of behaviors - in terms of nematic orientation, topological defects and electric field response - that are specific to the ferroelectric nematic phase and can be understood as a consequence of the polar symmetry breaking. In particular, we show that by using rubbed polymer surfaces it is easy to produce cells with a planar polar preferential alignment and that cell electrostatics (e.g.grounding the electrodes) has a remarkable effect on the overall homogeneity of the ferroelectric ordering.
Settore FIS/07 - Fisica Applicata(Beni Culturali, Ambientali, Biol.e Medicin)
Settore FIS/03 - Fisica della Materia
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/916171
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