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An active carbon-nanotube polarizer-embedded electrode and liquid-crystal alignment

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Abstract

We report a method for constructing an active optical polarizer using an aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) sheet that is flexible, bendable, transparent, conductive, and also serves to anchor liquid-crystal (LC) molecules. A horizontally aligned CNT sheet was obtained by mechanical stretching from a vertically grown CNT forest, which was then transferred onto a substrate. A liquid polymer was infiltrated into the CNT sheet followed by UV curing, while a part of the CNT sheet was still exposed on the film surface without polymer coating. The polymer-embedded CNT sheet (P-ECS) film with 10 layers of CNT sheets exhibited a good polarization efficiency of 87%, a sheet resistance of 340 Ω □−1, and excellent ability to align LC molecules. The high stability of the P-ECS film was confirmed from the very low variation of sheet resistance (2%) and transmittance (10%) observed during a bending test of 1000 cycles. In addition, a twisted nematic LC device constructed using the P-ECS films shows a good bright–dark switching performance. The P-ECS film functions simultaneously as a transparent electrode, a film-type polarizer, and a LC alignment layer, demonstrating the multi-functionality of the active CNT film. This study thus highlights a wide range of possible applications for active polarizers and flexible displays.

Graphical abstract: An active carbon-nanotube polarizer-embedded electrode and liquid-crystal alignment

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
21 Mar 2020
Accepted
08 Jun 2020
First published
09 Jun 2020

Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Communication

An active carbon-nanotube polarizer-embedded electrode and liquid-crystal alignment

T. H. Kim, J. G. Park, Y. K. Kim, Y. J. Lim, J. Kang, E. S. Kim, J. Y. Kwon, Y. H. Lee and S. H. Lee, Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0NR02276D

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