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Photo-aligned ferroelectric liquid crystals in microchannels

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Abstract

In this Letter we disclose a method to realize a good alignment of ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) in microchannels, based on photo-alignment. The sulfonic azo dye used in our research offers variable anchoring energy depending on the irradiation energy and thus provides good control on the FLC alignment in microchannels. The good FLC alignment has been observed only when anchoring energy normalized to the capillary diameter is less than the elastic energy of the FLC helix. The same approach can also be used for the different microstructures viz. photonic crystal fibers, microwaveguides, etc. which gives an opportunity for designing a photonic devices based on FLC.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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