Surface and flexoelectric polarization in a nematic liquid crystal 5CB
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The temperature dependence of the surface polarization has been measured for both the planar and homeotropic orientation of a nematic liquid crystal at a solid substrate. A conventional liquid crystal 5CB, pure and doped with an azo-dye, was used in cells with controlled asymmetry for light absorption. The measurements have been made by a pyroelectric technique using short pulses of a YAG laser to create a temperature increment. The latter, in turn, was measured independently by a novel time-resolved “optical thermometer” technique monitoring temperature-dependent birefringence by a He- Ne laser beam. In accordance with the symmetry of the order parameter, the surface polarization has different sign for the two orientations, its magnitude ranges from -4 to +2pC/m. The same technique has been used for the measurement of the flexoelectric polarization in hybrid cells. The sum of the flexoelectric coefficients is e1 + e3 = - 13pC/m at 25°C.
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