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23 February 2006 Molecular orientation effects in the CPW type LC devices for MMW phase shifting
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Molecular orientation states in the liquid crystal (LC) cell can easily be deformed and change their properties by applying low driving voltage with low power consumption. Those features are also attractive for the various functional devices in the wider frequency regions such as a millimeter wave (MMW), although only the optics applications are well investigated as the display application is put the head of them. Waveguide systems are well known as an excellent way to make a low loss transmission circuit in the ultrahigh frequency region such as microwaves and MMWs, and then the LC devices utilizing the waveguide have been proposed so far. However, the planar waveguide has gathered many attractions for the wider functionality by integration. We adopt here a coplanar waveguide (CPW) substrate to prepare the planar type of LC MMW devices combined with an ITO glass substrate. Since the ITO film acts as a floating electrode to simplify the electrode structure, LC molecules can be driven by applying the voltage only to the CPW substrate. Unfortunately, since the ITO electrode close to the CPW decreases the transmission of the MMW, the molecular orientation effects related with the electrode structure are very important to minimize the electrode area. We prepare the transparent LC cell which has exactly the same electrode structure with the CPW LC cell, and observe the molecular orientation states in detail by using a polarization microscope. It becomes clear that only the narrow area above the signal electrode of the CPW affects strongly to the phase change of the MMW propagation in the CPW type LC cell.
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T. Nose, S. Yanagihara, and M. Honma "Molecular orientation effects in the CPW type LC devices for MMW phase shifting", Proc. SPIE 6135, Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications XI, 61350F (23 February 2006);

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