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12 September 2013 Effects of in-plane electric fields on the optical properties of cholesteric liquid crystals
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A considerable body of knowledge has been developed on the general behavior of cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) materials in electric fields. One approach that has been reported to achieve tunability in optical filters based on CLCs with a positive dielectric anisotropy and in the planar homogeneous state involves the application of electric fields perpendicular to the axis of the CLC helix. The field leads to a progressive unwinding of the helix and a corresponding red-shift in the position of the reflection band of the CLC. In this work, a microspectrophotometer was employed to probe the spatial heterogeneity of the optical spectra of the CLC in cells with interdigitated electrodes. We will show that a complex behavior of the Bragg reflection band is obtained in the gap between electrodes for certain parameters of cells with interdigitated electrodes as a function of the applied field. This is ascribed to variations in the field magnitude and direction in the cell, which lead to a spatial variation of helix unwinding.
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Mariacristina Rumi, Vincent P. Tondiglia, Lalgudi V. Natarajan, Timothy J. White, and Timothy J. Bunning "Effects of in-plane electric fields on the optical properties of cholesteric liquid crystals", Proc. SPIE 8828, Liquid Crystals XVII, 882817 (12 September 2013);

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