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Frustration Phenomena in Liquid Crystals in Contact with Patterned Substrates – Tim Atherton

Date: Mon. September 17th, 2007, 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
Location: Rockefeller 221

Recent experimental advances in fabricating micropatterned surfaces offer the display industry the possibility of constructing new types of display with such desirable properties as bistability, enhanced contrast ratio and reduced power consumption. The physical principles that underlie these displays are rather more complex than the conventional Twisted Nematic (TN) display, and it is essential to understand their operation in order to produce optimized devices. In this talk, I explore an industrial problem involving the fabrication of switchable liquid crystal lenses using striped surfaces, and show how the solution provides an insight into the fundamental physics of liquid crystals including elastic anisotropy and the energetics of smectic structures.

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