Method for Fabrication of Liquid-Crystal Cells with Narrow Gap, Fast Switching, and Flexible Plastic Substrates06/01/2006
A phase-separation method for the construction of devices with specific internal architecture of LC/polymer composite system is presented. The method results in adjacent uniform polymer and LC films parallel to the substrates. Scanning electron microscopy was employed to investigate the internal structures. The results show that the thicknesses of the LC and the polymer films in cells constructed with fixed-size spacers directly depends on the LC/polymer in the initial mixture. This can be effectively used for precision cell-gap control and to fine-tune the LC optical path length. Cells with a submicrometer gap, prepared with this method and with 35 wt.% of LC in the mixture, exhibited a total response time approaching 1 msec. This method has also been used to fabricate devices with plastic substrates.