Dynamic electro-optic response of the liquid crystal (LC) director shows a backflow effect that is manifested as an optical bounce in chiral nematic LCs (N*LC) during field-induced homeotropic-twisted transition. The bend elastic constant (K33) strongly influences the dynamics of backflow at the N*LC in homeotropic-twisted transition. The cyanobiphenyl LC dimers – CB7CB, CB9CB and CB11CB – possess a unique characteristic of inherent bend molecular configuration that lowers K33. With the modulation of the effective K33 in dimer-doped N*LCs, we report the tunability of the optical bounce that decreases with the increase in the length of flexible spacers in LC dimers. The doped LC dimers with short spacer lengths not only generate a strong backflow with an enhanced twist degeneracy of the LC director across the cell, but also prolong the time of disappearance of the optical bounce. Furthermore, we demonstrate the suppression of the optical bounce with surface localised polymer protrusions having 50–100 nm diameters, which allow faster dynamic relaxation process and reduced backflow. We envision a novel design of a tunable microfluidic device for precise flow control of organic or inorganic matter in LC medium that exploits the tunable backflow in LC dimer-doped N*LCs.
|Number of pages||10|
|Early online date||12 Sep 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
- liquid crystal dimers
- optical bounce
- polymer stabilisation
- topological defects