A new method to change the structure of liquid crystals can lead to the development of rapid response of liquid crystals suitable for next generation displays ̵1; 3-D, augmented and virtual reality – and advanced photonic applications such as mirrorless glass, bio-sensors and fast / slow light generation, according to an international team of researchers from Penn State, the Air Force Research Laboratory and National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan.
"The liquid crystals we work with are called blue-stage liquid crystals," says Iam Choon Khoo, the William E. Leonhard Professor of Electrical Engineering, who is the corresponding author for this article. "The most important thing about this research is the basic understanding of what happens when you apply a field, which leads to the development of the Repetitively-Applied Field method. We believe this method is almost a universal template that can be used for configuring. many different types of liquid crystals and soft objects. "
Blue-phase liquid crystals typically assemble themselves into a cubic photonic-crystal structure. Researchers believe that by creating other structures they can develop properties that are not in their current form. After nearly two years of experimentation, they found that by applying a temporary electric field and allowing the system to relax between applications and to eliminate accumulated heat, they could slow the deposition to crystals in stable and unbounded orthorhombic and tetragonal structures.
The resulting liquid crystals exhibit a photonic space that can be adapted anywhere within the visible spectrum, and possesses the rapid responses required for other & # 39; next generation displays and advanced photonic applications. Adding a polymer to the crystals can stabilize them in a wide range of temperatures, from freezing to nearly boiling water compared to their typical pristine counterparts that are stable within just 5 degree ranges. The polymer scaffold also facilitates the transfer response.
In the latest research, the team applied the lessons learned in this study to create new crystalline structures and orientations using an electric field from a laser source.
The paper, "Configuring three-dimensional liquid-crystalline photonic crystals by electrostriction," was published online this week in Nature Materials .
Researchers synthesize new liquid crystals that allow direct power transmission
Duan-Yi Guo et al, Configuration of three-dimensional liquid-crystalline photonic crystals by electrostriction, Nature Materials (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41563-019-0512-3
New photonic liquid crystals can lead to next generation shows (2019, November 8)
acquired on November 8, 2019
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