Formation of a grating of submicron nematic layers by photopolymerization of nematic-containing mixtures
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- Caputo, R., Sukhov, A.V., Umeton, C. et al. J. Exp. Theor. Phys. (2000) 91: 1190. doi:10.1134/1.1342885
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A submicron, spatially periodic, structure consisting of a sequence of oriented layers of a nematic liquid crystal (NLC), separated by isotropic polymeric walls, was obtained experimentally. This was accomplished by polymerization induced by the interference pattern of UV laser radiation in a NLC-containing prepolymer mixture. It was established that such a structure occurs when phase separation and nematic ordering are prevented during the polymerization process. These structures are the diffraction elements, whose efficiency is much greater than that of a standard grating of polymer-dispersed liquid crystals [1–4] which is obtained in the same initial mixture. Specifically, a diffraction efficiency of 60–70% was obtained for structures with the period Δ = 0.2 μm, even in mixtures where a grating with Δ < 6 μm cannot be obtained at all by the standard technique.