Abstract

The transmittance anisotropy of a composite polymer–liquid-crystal film has been studied as it varies with the degree to which it is elongated. The composite film includes polyvinyl alcohol, the nematic liquid crystal 4-n-pentyl-4<sup>′</sup>-cyanobiphenyl, and the surfeiting cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, which initiates homeotropic adhesion of the nematic to the surface of the polymer. It is shown that, when the film is uniaxially stretched, the transmittance of the orthogonally polarized component of directly transmitted radiation and accordingly the degree of polarization abruptly increase, reaching saturation when it is stretched to twice its length. Such variation of the film’s macroscopic optical properties can be caused by an orientational–structural transition to a homogeneous configuration of the director in deformed droplets of the nematic and makes it possible to substantially improve the optical characteristics of light polarizers based on such composite media.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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