Liquid Crystals

Chapter 1.5 - Liquid Crystal Cells and Sample Preparation

1.5.   LIQUID CRYSTAL CELLS AND SAMPLE PREPARATION

Liquid crystals, particularly nematics which are commonly employed in many electrooptical
devices, behave physically very much like liquids. Milk is often a good analogy

Figure 1.17. Schematic depiction of a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal material: (a) in the absence of an external alignment field (highly scattered state); (b) when an external alignment field is on (transparent state).

to liquid crystals in such bulk, “unaligned” states. Its crystalline properties become
apparent when such milky liquids are contained in (usually) flat thin cells. The
alignment of the liquid crystal axis in such cells is essentially controlled by the cell
walls, whose surfaces are treated in a variety of ways to achieve various director axis
alignments.

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