Optical imaging of the effect of in-plane fields on cholesteric liquid crystals

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2008 Jul;78(1 Pt 1):012701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.78.012701. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


The effects of in-plane electric fields on the director structure of cholesteric liquid crystals has been imaged in three dimensions using fluorescence confocal polarizing microscopy. The results show that a liquid crystal lying outside the electrode gap can be significantly affected by stray fields occurring above the electrode surface, resulting in a 90 degrees rotation of the cholesteric helix. Distinct differences between the behavior of cholesterics with positive and negative dielectric anisotropies are observed.