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The alignment of ferroelectric liquid crystals and its affect on device characterisitics

Bowry, Carolyn; (1990) The alignment of ferroelectric liquid crystals and its affect on device characterisitics. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis explores the problem of uniformly aligning Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals (FLCs) over large areas whilst retaining bistability. A novel high tilt alignment (HTA) is presented and its electro-optic performance is compared to the traditional surface stabilised (SS) alignment using three different devices; test cells, displays and all-fibre optic devices. Evidence is presented to show that the SS alignment has a small surface pretilt of the director which reduces the number of zig-zag defects in parallel aligned cells. This is related to the layer structure and a review of the latest proposed structures of SS devices is presented. The HTA device is shown to have many advantages over the SS device; no zig-zag defects, excellent bistability in up to 6 μm thick cells, good mechanical stability and excellent viewing characteristics when multiplexed. These properties are explored and culminate in the production of two FLC displays, one HTA and one SS aligned. The properties of these displays are compared. In order to improve the appearance and frame time of the displays, multiplexing schemes were investigated, including a novel two slot scheme that was successfully used to drive both displays. It was found that the SS display could be driven in a reverse contrast mode by taking advantage of the relaxation process. This decreased the line address time and produced a higher contrast display. A nematic LC all-fibre optic polariser was produced with excellent extinction ratio (45 dB) and low loss (0.2 dB) using evanescent field coupling. A nematic LC modulator was then demonstrated using a novel electrode arrangement. A modulation depth of 28 dB was achieved using low voltages (~10V) but with <100 Hz modulation frequency. By using a FLC modulator this was increased to >10 kHz but the modulation depth was poor (8.2 dB) because of the unsuitable refractive indices. The potential and uses of LC all-fibre optic devices are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The alignment of ferroelectric liquid crystals and its affect on device characterisitics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122652
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