Optically guided mode study of nematic liquid crystal alignment on a zero-order grating
Hallam, B. T.
Sambles, J. Roy
University of Exeter
Physical Review E
American Physical Society
The characterization of a liquid crystal cell, which comprises one zero-order (that is, at the wavelength of study it is nondiffractive) diffraction grating and one rubbed polyimide-coated substrate, has been performed using an optically guided mode technique. The cell is filled with nematic liquid crystal E7 (manufactured and sold by Merck, Poole, U.K.). The excitation of fully leaky guided modes within the liquid crystal layer has allowed the optical director profile to be quantified under the application of weak in-plane electric fields. The fitting of angle-dependent optical data to multilayer optical theory yields the accurate twist profile of the liquid crystal for different field strengths. Comparisons with profiles predicted from elastic continuum theory, assuming a Rapini-Papoular-type anchoring at the surfaces, allow both the azimuthal anchoring strength at each surface and the twist elastic constant of the bulk to be accurately determined. Repeating these measurements as a function of temperature allows the surface and bulk order parameters of the grating-aligned liquid crystal to be deduced.
B. T. Hallam and J. Roy Sambles, Physical Review E, Vol. 61, pp. 6699-6704 (2000). "Copyright © 2000 by the American Physical Society."
61 (6), pp. 6699-6704