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Alignment mechanism of a nematic liquid crystal on a pre-rubbed polyimide film with laser-induced periodic surface structure

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A periodic surface structure was prepared on a pre-rubbed polyimide (PI) film surface with a pulsed UV laser polarized perpendicular to the rubbing direction. The experimental results demonstrate that the rubbing-induced molecular anisotropic orientation was relaxed by the pulsed laser irradiation, and the laser induced molecular orientation was perpendicular to the line of the laser-induced periodic structure. The dichroism of the anisotropy of molecular orientation increased with the increase of laser energy. Since the direction of the laser-induced molecular anisotropy was perpendicular to the surface groove direction of the pre-rubbed PI surface, the effects of surface microgroove and anisotropic molecular orientation of the PI chain on liquid crystal (LC) alignment can be distinguished from each other. LC alignment was investigated by evaluating the anchoring energy of the PI surface, which was calculated according to Berreman's theory using the twist angle of the LC in the cells. The experimental results demonstrate that the exact alignment direction of the LC molecules is determined by the relative strength of both factors.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Chemistry and Chemical Technology Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai 200240 PR China

Publication date: 01 August 2003

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