Journal of Applied Physics
optical microsecond switches, practical method, cells, instability, growth
The liquid crystal alignment method described here provides uniform orientation of otherwise difficult-to-align smectic-A liquid crystal materials lacking a nematic phase. The smectic-A phase is grown in the presence of a 10–20 K/mm temperature gradient from an air bubble located within a cell by a photolithographically defined channel in the cell substrates. We obtain uniform layer alignment in millimeter-wide smectic regions at growth rates below about 0.05 μm/s even though there is a tendency for spontaneous nucleation of focal-conic defects at higher growth rates once the width of the smectic-A region exceeds the critical value of about 20 μm.
Reznikov, Mitya; Wall, Bentley; Handschy, Mark A.; and Bos, Philip J. (2008). Monodomain Alignment of the Smectic-A Liquid Crystalline Phase from the Isotropic Phase. Journal of Applied Physics 104(4). doi: 10.1063/1.2969906 Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.kent.edu/cpippubs/123