FT-IR microspectroscopy is used to compare the polymer and liquid crystal droplet regions within polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) films. Thermoplastic polymer matrix PDLCs contain a higher amount of liquid crystal within the polymer regions than do thermoset polymer matrix films. IR functional group images of a droplet show characteristic textures corresponding to the visual images of the same droplet. The textures in the IR images change with IR polarization and with an applied electric field. Analysis by conventional IR spectroscopy shows that the C=N and the pentyl CH2 groups require an equivalent voltage to switch in the IR region. However, the phenyl C=C group does not exhibit changes under the same voltage conditions. Hysteresis also is seen in the infrared region as a function of voltage and temperature.
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