Patterned retarders prepared by photoisomerization and photopolymerization of liquid crystalline films

B. M.I. Van Der Zande, J. Lub, H.J. Verhoef, W. P.M. Nijssen, S. A. Lakehal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Isomerizable diacrylates derived from cinnamic acid are designed, synthesized and mixed with liquid crystalline diacrylates with the aim of making films with alternating birefringent and isotropic domains by applying the E - Z isomerization process at room temperature. The effects of the structure of the isomerizable-mesogenic group on the isotropization efficacy, the efficiency of the E - Z isomerization reaction, and film formation are discussed. Compounds derived from cyclohexyl cinnamate are proved to be good candidates that meet a whole set of parameters related to processing and application. These compounds exhibit a low nematic-to-isotropic transition temperature. In addition, they show no yellowing upon irradiation, unlike similar compounds derived from phenyl cinnamate. To elucidate the origin of isotropization of the film by irradiation, the pure Z -isomer is prepared by photolysis of the E -isomer and subsequent chromatographic separation of both isomers. Analysis of reference samples containing the pure isomers reveals that the decrease in transition temperature can be attributed exclusively to the E - Z photoisomerization process. Finally, thin films with alternating birefringent and isotropic parts of 100×100 μm 2 are obtained by using a combination of photoisomerization in air and photopolymerization in a nitrogen atmosphere, which is referred to as photo-patterning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-737
Number of pages15
JournalLiquid Crystals
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

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