V-shaped switching ferroelectric liquid crystal structure stabilized by dielectric surface layers
Journal article, 2008
The "V-shaped switching" mode in high polarization ferroelectric liquid crystals was studied with the aim of stabilizing the monostable bookshelf structure with the spontaneous polarization parallel to the glass plates. The director field in such cells was confirmed to be sensitive to both the liquid crystal properties and the cell parameters. In cells with only polyimide alignment layers, hysteresis free switching was never obtained, with bistable and asymmetric monostable structures compromising the zero-field dark state and preventing an ideal, hysteresis-free analog response. By incorporating a SiO(2) layer between the ITO electrode and the polyimide, the undesired states were suppressed and essentially hysteresis-free switching was obtained for driving frequencies in the range 0.2-200 Hz. Cells rubbed only on one side give more uniform alignment than cells rubbed on both sides but their inherent asymmetry shifts the long-term dark state away from 0 V and causes the response to gray level voltage modulation to be slightly asymmetric. The formation of different types of states as a function of the values of the surface parameters, and the observed stabilization of the V-shaped switching structure by the dielectric surface layers, are in good agreement with an earlier analysis by Copic et al.