Homeotropic Alignment and Director Structures in Thin Films of Triphenylamine-Based Discotic Liquid Crystals Controlled by Supporting Nanostructured Substrates and Surface Confinement

Trirup Dutta Choudhury, Nandiraju V.S. Rao, Robert Tenent, Jeffrey Blackburn, Brian Gregg, Ivan I. Smalyukh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus Citations

Abstract

We explore the effects of nanoscale morphology of supporting solid substrates on alignment, defects, and director structures exhibited by thin films of triphenylamine-based discotic liquid crystals. Fluorescence confocal polarizing microscopy and intrinsic polarized fluorescence properties of studied molecules are used to visualize three-dimensional director fields in the liquid crystal films. We demonstrate that, by controlling surface anchoring on supporting or confining solid substrates such as those of carbon nanotube electrodes on glass plates, both uniform homeotropic and in-plane (edge-on) alignment and nonuniform structures with developable domains can be achieved for the same discotic liquid crystal material.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)609-617
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume115
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Feb 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-51203

Keywords

  • liquid crystals
  • nanostructured substrates
  • optoelectronic devices

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