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 Modelling and design of Liquid Crystal Devices

We have made a theoretical study of the light scattering properties of Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) films. These devices have a number of applications including direct view and projection display technology, switchable windows, electro-optic shutter devices, large-scale flexible displays, and high resolution active matrix addressing systems.

A PDLC film consists of a random ensemble of micrometre-sized liquid crystal droplets dispersed in an isotropic polymer matrix. In the absence of any external electric field, the film has a milky white translucent appearance. However, when a field is applied, the film becomes clear. In contrast to polarization devices, there is little loss of light in the transparent state, making them highly desirable. The contrast between the off and on states relies on an optical mismatch between the liquid crystal droplets and the polymer matrix, which disappears when the field is applied. This work is in collaboration with the Mathematics department and the Institute of Surface Chemistry, Kiev.


When an electric field is applied, the molecules line up and the appearance of the liquid crystal changes from opaque to clear (left). Computer calculation showing decreased scattering at higher fields (right).

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