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Chemphyschem. 2014 May 19;15(7):1376-80. doi: 10.1002/cphc.201301040. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Orthogonal orientation of chromonic liquid crystals by rubbed polyamide films.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, Reed College, Portland, OR 97202 (USA).

Abstract

Chromonic liquid crystals (CLCs) have drawn attention for applications to organic electronics and optical films as well as biological materials. Understanding the alignment mechanism of CLCs is important for those applications. Using a polarized transmission optical microscope, we observe the optical texture, dichroism, and birefringence of CLC films of sunset yellow (SSY) confined by polyamide (nylon) films that are rubbed with a brush. The films align with the stacks of SSY molecules oriented, surprisingly, perpendicular to the rubbing direction. We propose that this alignment is stabilized by molecular interaction between the stretched nylon chains and molecular grooves of the SSY stacks rather than elastic energy of the CLCs due to surface topography induced by the rubbing.

KEYWORDS:

alignment mechanisms; birefringence; chromonic liquid crystals; dichroism; polyamide films

PMID:
24470318
DOI:
10.1002/cphc.201301040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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