Phase separation of liquid crystals from a solution with polymers has long been studied and used to prepare polymer stabilized and polymer dispersed structures. They are formed by spatially isotropic phase separation. A new mode, in which the phase separation proceeds anisotropically, has recently been discovered. Known as phase separated composite films (PSCOF), the resultant structures are made of adjacent parallel layers of liquid crystal and solidified polymer. PSCOFs have been made with nematic, ferroelectric (FLC), and antiferroelectric (AFLC) liquid crystals. Liquid crystals in PSCOFs exhibit electro-optical properties not observed in devices prepared by conventional methods, polymer dispersion, or polymer stabilization methods. Devices incorporating FLCs possess grey scale and switch 100 times faster at low fields than conventional surface stabilized devices. This method makes it possible to prepare very flexible devices and devices with liquid crystal film thickness comparable to optical wavelengths with great ease.
Volume 95, 2021
Continuous Article Publishing mode
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