It is suggested that liquid crystal-polymer interfaces are coupled systems, in which the components mutually influence the orientational state of each other. The photo-orientation process at liquid crystal-polymer interfaces provides a striking example of such a coupling. Experiments show that the anisotropic structure generated by polarised light at a polymer surface is strongly affected by the phase of the liquid crystal covering the polymer. Photo-orientation is significantly more efficient when the liquid crystal is in the isotropic phase than when it exhibits orientational order. The observations are interpreted by assuming that in the smectic and nematic phases the liquid crystal stabilises to a large extent polymer chain-segments aligned parallel to the director, while it blocks the photo-induced formation of chain-segments in the perpendicular direction. Other situations, in which the coupling between the liquid crystal and the polymer can be important, are also discussed briefly.
- Liquid crystal-polymer interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)