Competition between anchoring and reversible photo-induced alignment of a nematic liquid crystal

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2003-01-01

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Springer

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We investigated the alignment induced on a nematic liquid crystal (LC) by a photo-aligned polymer film with azo-dye side groups. The orientation of the LC molecules can be manipulated in a reversible manner by irradiating the film with polarized light. We analyzed the competition between the orientation induced by the main chain, through rubbing of the film and that induced by the photo-aligned polymer. Anchoring strength for the different processing conditions are reported. The changes in film morphology caused by rubbing or photo-alignment could be captured by atomic force microscopy. The reversibility of the photo-induced alignment and the competition between the two anchoring mechanisms may allow recording and erasing of information in a LC display.

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Applied Physics A-materials Science & Processing. New York: Springer-verlag, v. 77, n. 7, p. 911-914, 2003.

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