A significant advance in sensitivity of liquid-crystal (LC)-based chemical and biological sensors can be achieved by actively monitoring anchoring energy change. We simulate the deformation of a LC director with different anchoring energies using the finite element method and the optical properties of the LC film using the finite-difference time-domain method. Polarizing micrographs are collected and compared with simulated textures. Measurement of optical transmission is used to monitor the anchoring change. Experimental and simulation results both demonstrate the optical method can effectively monitor the surface anchoring change due to the presence of targeted analytes.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
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