Liquid crystal polymer networks : preparation, properties, and applications of films with patterned molecular alignment

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Abstract

Monolithically ordered liquid crystal polymer networks are formed by the photoinitiated polymerization of multifunctional liquid crystal monomers. This paper describes the relevant principles and methods, the basic structure–property relationships in terms of mesogenic properties of the monomers, and the mechanical and optical properties of the polymers. Strategies are discussed to control the molecular orientation by various means and in all three dimensions. The versatility of the process is demonstrated by two examples of films with a patterned molecular order. It is shown that patterned retarders can be made by a two-step polymerization process which is successfully employed in a transflective display principle. A transflective display is a liquid crystal display that operates in both a reflective mode using ambient light and a transmissive mode with light coming from a backlight system. Furthermore, a method is discussed to create a patterned film in a single polymerization process. This film has alternating planar chiral nematic areas next to perpendicularly oriented (so-called homeotropic) areas. When applied as a coating to a substrate, the film changes its surface texture. During exposure to UV light, it switches from a flat to a corrugated state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13499-13509
Number of pages11
JournalLangmuir
Volume30
Issue number45
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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