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Nematic liquid-crystal alignment on stripe-patterned substrates

By Candy Anquetil-Deck and Doug Cleaver


Here, we use molecular simulation to consider the behavior of a thin nematic film confined between two identical nanopatterned substrates. Using patterns involving alternating stripes of homeotropic-favoring and homogeneous-favoring substrates, we investigate the influence of the relative stripe width and the film thickness. From this, we show that the polar anchoring angle can be varied continuously from planar to homeotropic by appropriate tuning of these parameters. For very thin films with equal stripe widths, we observe orientational bridging, the surface patterning being written in domains which traverse the nematic film. This dual bridging- domain arrangement breaks down with increase in film thickness, however, being replaced by a single tilted monodomain. Strong azimuthal anchoring in the plane of the stripe boundaries is observed for all systems

Publisher: American Physical Society
Year: 2010
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