Abstract

Polymer cholesteric liquid-crystal flakes suspended in a fluid with nonnegligible conductivity can exhibit motion in the presence of an ac electric field. The plateletlike particles with a Grandjean texture initially lie parallel to the cell substrates and exhibit a strong selective reflection that is diminished or extinguished as the flakes move. Flake motion was seen within a specific frequency bandwidth in an electric field as low as 5 mVrms/µm. Flakes reoriented about their longest axis to align parallel to the applied field, and a rise time of 560 ms was seen in a 40-mVrms/µm field at 100 Hz.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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