The dielectric anisotropy of a highly dispersive dual-frequency nematic liquid crystal (MDA-00-3969 (Merck KGa)) has been determined using the optical fully-leaky guided-mode technique. A 4Vrms sinusoidal voltage was applied across a 5µm hybrid aligned nematic (HAN) cell at various frequencies in both the positive and negative dielectric anisotropy regime. Optical data was collected at each frequency enabling the director profile in each case to be determined using a multi-layer optics model in combination with a liquid crystal free-energy minimization routine. The thresholdless response of the HAN cell combined with the extreme sensitivity of the optical characterization technique has allowed subtle changes in dielectric permittivity with frequency to be observed. The resulting measured dispersion shows excellent agreement with a single Debye-type relaxation model.
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