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Journal of Applied Physics

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Incorporation of dichroic dyes substantially improves the contrast of polymer dispersed liquid‐crystal(PDLC) shutters. The efficiency of dichroic dyes in a PDLC shutter depends on the scattering efficiency of the film, the dichroic ratio of the dye, the order parameter of the dye in the liquid crystal, and the fraction of dye dissolved in the droplets. Ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy can be effectively used to determine the scattering efficiency of PDLCfilms, and the distribution of dichroic dye dissolved in the liquid‐crystaldroplets. To achieve high contrast the dichroic dye must be segregated in the droplet. We show that the segregation of dye in the PDLCdroplets is dependent on the type of dye used and ranges from 19% to 100%. The scattering efficiency of the PDLC shutter provides insight into the effect of the dichroic dye on the contrast of the film. Production of a black PDLC shutter requires a mixture of several dichroic dyes. By careful consideration of the relative amounts of the components of the dye mixture, a black PDLC shutter can be constructed with a uniform contrast over the entire visible region. The dichroic absorption in the infrared of the liquid crystal used to make a PDLC can be analyzed in a manner analagous to the dichroic dye to determine the fraction of liquid‐crystal phase separated in droplets and dissolved in the polymer binder.


Copyright 1991 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in J. Appl. Phys. 70, 3785 (1991) and may be found at

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