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Issue 2, 2012
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Dynamic high contrast reflective coloration from responsive polymer/cholesteric liquid crystal architectures

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Abstract

We report on high reflectivity CLC structures (R > 50%) whose wavelength can be thermally tuned reversibly by a de-swelling/re-swelling transition unique to ordered solvent-gel systems. The system contains no chiral dopant and the coloration is completely induced by a responsive chiral structured gel. The de-swelling transition, leading to blue tuning, occurs at the nematic-isotropic transition of the liquid crystal, which is a result of a mismatch in the orientational energy of the isotropic liquid crystal and the anisotropic gel. The re-swelling transition subsequently occurs at the nematic-isotropic transition of gel, due to the miscibility of the isotropic liquid crystal and the isotropic gel, which induces a red-shift in the coloration. Examination of varying clearing point liquid crystal solvents, contact angle measurements, and white light optical profilometry localized thickness measurements shed light on this de-swelling/re-swelling transition. A dynamic, high reflectivity cell was demonstrated by combining both a left-handed chiral gel with a right handed chiral gel, both of whose initial periodicities were equal. Heating of this so-called hyper-reflective cell drove reversible and large scale wavelength changes (100's of nm) while maintaining large reflectivity (R ∼ 90%).

Graphical abstract: Dynamic high contrast reflective coloration from responsive polymer/cholesteric liquid crystal architectures

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Article information


Submitted
26 May 2011
Accepted
23 Sep 2011
First published
24 Oct 2011

Soft Matter, 2012,8, 318-323
Article type
Paper

Dynamic high contrast reflective coloration from responsive polymer/cholesteric liquid crystal architectures

M. E. McConney, T. J. White, V. P. Tondiglia, L. V. Natarajan, D. Yang and T. J. Bunning, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 318
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05980G

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