Abstract

The surface of multilayered opal crystals resulted in homeotropic alignment of liquid crystal (LC), originated from the surface topography of opal crystals rather than a chemical nature of the nanoparticles. The polar anchoring energy (5.51 × 10−5 J/m2) of the crystal surface for nematic LC molecules was in a similar range to the conventional polyimide alignment layer (2.11 × 10−5 J/m2) used for commercial applications. The critical length scale for anchoring transition was approximately Lw = ~1 μm. If a diameter of particle d << 1 μm for opal crystals, LC molecules preferred to anchor vertically to the surface to minimize elastic free energy of bulk LCs. The LC favored a planar anchoring if d >> 1 μm. The results provide crucial insights to understand the homeotropic alignment of LCs on solid surfaces and therefore offer opportunities to develop novel materials for a vertical alignment of LCs.

© 2018 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement

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    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  26. S.-H. Chen, T.-R. Chou, Y.-T. Chiang, and C.-Y. Chao, “Nanoparticle-induced vertical alignment liquid crystal cell with highly conductive PEDOT: PSS films as transparent electrodes,” Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. (Phila. Pa.) 646(1), 107–115 (2017).
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  45. V. K. Gupta and N. L. Abbott, “Design of surfaces for patterned alignment of liquid crystals on planar and curved substrates,” Science 276(5318), 1533–1536 (1997).
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2017 (1)

S.-H. Chen, T.-R. Chou, Y.-T. Chiang, and C.-Y. Chao, “Nanoparticle-induced vertical alignment liquid crystal cell with highly conductive PEDOT: PSS films as transparent electrodes,” Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. (Phila. Pa.) 646(1), 107–115 (2017).
[Crossref]

2015 (1)

Y.-F. Chung, M.-Z. Chen, S.-H. Yang, and S.-C. Jeng, “Tunable surface wettability of ZnO nanoparticle arrays for controlling the alignment of liquid crystals,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7(18), 9619–9624 (2015).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2014 (2)

D.-Y. Kim, S. Kim, S.-A. Lee, Y.-E. Choi, W.-J. Yoon, S.-W. Kuo, C.-H. Hsu, M. Huang, S. H. Lee, and K.-U. Jeong, “Asymmetric organic-inorganic hybrid giant molecule: cyanobiphenyl monosubstituted polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane nanoparticles for vertical alignment of liquid crystals,” J. Phys. Chem. C 118(12), 6300–6306 (2014).
[Crossref]

O. D. Lavrentovich, “Transport of particles in liquid crystals,” Soft Matter 10(9), 1264–1283 (2014).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2013 (2)

S. Kundu, M.-H. Lee, S. H. Lee, and S. W. Kang, “In situ homeotropic alignment of nematic liquid crystals based on photoisomerization of azo-dye, physical adsorption of aggregates, and consequent topographical modification,” Adv. Mater. 25(24), 3365–3370 (2013).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Y. Oh and S. W. Kang, “Photoreactive self-assembled monolayer for the stabilization of tilt orientation of a director in vertically aligned nematic liquid crystals,” Opt. Express 21(25), 31367–31374 (2013).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2012 (2)

H. S. Jeong, H.-J. Jeon, Y. H. Kim, M. B. Oh, P. Kumar, S.-W. Kang, and H.-T. Jung, “Bifunctional ITO layer with a high resolution, surface nano-pattern for alignment and switching of LCs in device applications,” NPG Asia Mater. 4(2), e7 (2012).
[Crossref]

A. Pizzirusso, R. Berardi, L. Muccioli, M. Ricci, and C. Zannoni, “Predicting surface anchoring: molecular organization across a thin film of 5CB liquid crystal on Silicon,” Chem. Sci. (Camb.) 3(2), 573–579 (2012).
[Crossref]

2010 (3)

J. Sun, C. J. Tang, P. Zhan, Z. L. Han, Z. S. Cao, and Z. L. Wang, “Fabrication of centimeter-sized single-domain two-dimensional colloidal crystals in a wedge-shaped cell under capillary forces,” Langmuir 26(11), 7859–7864 (2010).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

M. Grzelczak, J. Vermant, E. M. Furst, and L. M. Liz-Marzán, “Directed self-assembly of nanoparticles,” ACS Nano 4(7), 3591–3605 (2010).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

H. K. Choi, S. H. Im, and O. O. Park, “Fabrication of unconventional colloidal self-assembled structures,” Langmuir 26(15), 12500–12504 (2010).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2009 (1)

Y. Yi, G. Lombardo, N. Ashby, R. Barberi, J. E. Maclennan, and N. A. Clark, “Topographic-pattern-induced homeotropic alignment of liquid crystals,” Phys. Rev. E Stat. Nonlin. Soft Matter Phys. 79(4 Pt 1), 041701 (2009).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2008 (1)

C. Chen, P. J. Bos, and J. E. Anderson, “Anchoring transitions of liquid crystals on SiOx,” Liq. Cryst. 35(4), 465–481 (2008).
[Crossref]

2007 (5)

P. K. Son, J. H. Park, J. C. Kim, and T. H. Yoon, “Control of liquid crystal alignment by deposition of silicon oxide thin film,” Thin Solid Films 515(5), 3102–3106 (2007).
[Crossref]

P. K. Son, J. H. Park, J. C. Kim, T. H. Yoon, S. J. Rho, B. K. Jeon, S. T. Shin, J. S. Kim, and S. K. Lim, “Vertical alignment of liquid crystal through ion beam exposure on oxygen-doped SiC films deposited at room temperature,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 91(10), 103513 (2007).
[Crossref]

S. K. Lee, J. H. Kim, B. Y. Oh, D. H. Kang, B. Y. Kim, J. W. Han, Y. H. Kim, J. M. Han, J. Y. Hwang, C. H. Ok, and D. S. Seo, “Liquid crystal alignment effects on SiNx thin film layers treated by ion-beam irradiation,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 46(12), 7711–7713 (2007).
[Crossref]

L. Malaquin, T. Kraus, H. Schmid, E. Delamarche, and H. Wolf, “Controlled particle placement through convective and capillary assembly,” Langmuir 23(23), 11513–11521 (2007).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

J. Fukuda, M. Yoneya, and H. Yokoyama, “Surface-groove-induced azimuthal anchoring of a nematic liquid crystal: Berreman’s model reexamined,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 98(18), 187803 (2007).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2006 (4)

C. Chen, P. J. Bos, J. Kim, Q. Li, and J. E. Anderson, “Improved liquid crystal for vertical alignment applications,” J. Appl. Phys. 99(12), 123523 (2006).
[Crossref]

H. C. Moon, H. K. Kang, J. Y. Hwang, Y. P. Park, S. H. Lim, J. Jang, and D.-S. Seo, “Vertical alignment of nematic liquid crystal by rubbing-free method on the SiC thin film layer,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 45(1), 7017–7019 (2006).
[Crossref]

P. Jiang, T. Prasad, M. J. Mcfarland, and V. L. Colvin, “Two-dimensional non close-packed colloidal crystals formed by spin coating,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89(1), 011908 (2006).
[Crossref]

A. Mihi, M. Ocana, and H. Miguez, “Oriented colloidal-crystal thin films by spin-coating microspheres dispersed in volatile media,” Adv. Mater. 18(17), 2244–2249 (2006).
[Crossref]

2005 (4)

W. Y. Chou, Z. Y. Ho, F. C. Tang, Y. S. Mai, T. Y. Wu, H. L. Cheng, C. R. Sheu, C. C. Liao, and K. H. Liu, “Ion-beam-processed SiO2 film for homogeneous liquid crystal alignment,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 44(276L), L876–L878 (2005).
[Crossref]

C. Chen, J. E. Anderson, and P. J. Bos, “Uniform vertical alignment of a liquid crystal that has a large negative dielectric,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 44(35), L1126–L1127 (2005).
[Crossref]

S. Kumar, J.-H. Kim, and Y. Shi, “What aligns liquid crystals on solid substrates? The role of surface roughness anisotropy,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 94(7), 077803 (2005).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

S. Tsuji and H. Kawaguchi, “Self-assembly of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-carrying microspheres into two-dimensional colloidal arrays,” Langmuir 21(6), 2434–2437 (2005).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2004 (3)

K. Q. Zhang and X. Y. Liu, “In situ observation of colloidal monolayer nucleation driven by an alternating electric field,” Nature 429(6993), 739–743 (2004).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

M. Lu, “Liquid crystal orientation induced by Van der walls interaction,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 43(12), 8156–8160 (2004).
[Crossref]

J. S. Gwag, C. G. Jhun, J. C. Kim, T. H. Yoon, G. D. Lee, and S. J. Cho, “Alignment of liquid crystal on a polyimide surface exposed to an Ar ion beam,” J. Appl. Phys. 96(1), 257–260 (2004).
[Crossref]

2003 (4)

J. P. Doyle, P. Chaudhari, J. L. Lacey, E. A. Galligan, S. C. Lien, A. C. Callegari, N. D. Lang, M. Lu, Y. Nakagawa, H. Nakano, N. Okazaki, S. Odahara, Y. Katoh, Y. Saitoh, K. Sakai, H. Satoh, and Y. Shiota, “Ion beam alignment for liquid crystal display fabrication,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 206, 467–471 (2003).
[Crossref]

S. O. Lumsdon, E. W. Kaler, J. P. Williams, and O. D. Velev, “Dielectrophoretic assembly of oriented and switchable two-dimensional photonic crystals,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 82(6), 949–951 (2003).
[Crossref]

S. Wong, V. Kitaev, and G. A. Ozin, “Colloidal crystal films: advances in universality and perfection,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125(50), 15589–15598 (2003).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

I. Drevenšek Olenik, K. Kocevar, I. Musevic, and T. Rasing, “Structure and polarity of 8CB films evaporated onto solid substrates,” Eur Phys J E Soft Matter 11(2), 169–175 (2003).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

2001 (3)

J. Stöhr, M. G. Samant, J. Luning, A. C. Callegari, P. Chaudhari, J. P. Doyle, J. A. Lacey, S. A. Lien, S. Purushothaman, and J. L. Speidell, “Liquid crystal alignment on carbonaceous surfaces with orientational order,” Science 292(5525), 2299–2302 (2001).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

P. Chaudhari, J. Lacey, J. Doyle, E. Galligan, S. C. A. Lien, A. Callegari, G. Hougham, N. D. Lang, P. S. Andry, R. John, K. H. Yang, M. Lu, C. Cai, J. Speidell, S. Purushothaman, J. Ritsko, M. Samant, J. Stöhr, Y. Nakagawa, Y. Katoh, Y. Saitoh, K. Sakai, H. Satoh, S. Odahara, H. Nakano, J. Nakagaki, and Y. Shiota, “Atomic-beam alignment of inorganic materials for liquid-crystal displays,” Nature 411(6833), 56–59 (2001).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

B. van Duffel, R. H. A. Ras, F. C. De Schryver, and R. A. Schoonheydt, “Langmuir–Blodgett deposition and optical diffraction of two-dimensional Opal,” J. Mater. Chem. 11(12), 3333–3336 (2001).
[Crossref]

1999 (1)

P. Jiang, J. F. Bertone, K. S. Hwang, and V. L. Colvin, “Single-crystal colloidal multilayers of controlled thickness,” Chem. Mater. 11(8), 2132–2140 (1999).
[Crossref]

1998 (1)

Y. Wu, Y. Demachi, O. Tsutsumi, A. Kanazawa, T. Shiono, and T. Ikeda, “Photoinduced alignment of polymer liquid crystals containing azobenzene moieties in the side chain. 1. Effect of light intensity on alignment behavior,” Macromolecules 31(2), 349–354 (1998).
[Crossref]

1997 (1)

V. K. Gupta and N. L. Abbott, “Design of surfaces for patterned alignment of liquid crystals on planar and curved substrates,” Science 276(5318), 1533–1536 (1997).
[Crossref]

1996 (2)

M. Trau, D. A. Saville, and I. A. Aksay, “Field induced layering of colloidal crystals,” Science 272(5262), 706–709 (1996).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

A. S. Dimitrov and K. Nagayama, “Continuous convective assembling of fine particles into two-dimensional arrays on solid surfaces,” Langmuir 12(5), 1303–1311 (1996).
[Crossref]

1995 (1)

D. S. Seo, S. Kobayashi, D. Y. Kang, and H. Yokoyama, “Effects of rubbing and temperature dependence of polar anchoring strength of homogeneously aligned nematic liquid crystal on polyimide langmuir-blodgett orientation films,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 34(1), 3607–3611 (1995).
[Crossref]

1992 (1)

N. Denkov, O. D. Velev, P. A. Kralchevski, I. B. Ivanov, H. Yoshimura, and K. Nagayama, “Mechanism of formation of two-dimensional crystals from latex particles on substrates,” Langmuir 8(12), 3183–3190 (1992).
[Crossref]

1991 (1)

W. M. Gibbons, P. J. Shannon, S. Sun, and B. J. Swetlin, “Surface-mediated alignment of nematic liquid crystals with polarized laser light,” Nature 351(6321), 49–50 (1991).
[Crossref]

1987 (1)

S. Faetti, “Azimuthal anchoring energy of a nematic liquid crystal at a grooved interface,” Phys. Rev. A Gen. Phys. 36(1), 408–410 (1987).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

1972 (2)

J. L. Janning, “Thin film surface orientation for liquid crystals,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 21(4), 173–174 (1972).
[Crossref]

D. W. Berreman, “Solid surface shape and the alignment of an adjacent nematic liquid crystal,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 28(26), 1683–1686 (1972).
[Crossref]

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P. K. Son, J. H. Park, J. C. Kim, and T. H. Yoon, “Control of liquid crystal alignment by deposition of silicon oxide thin film,” Thin Solid Films 515(5), 3102–3106 (2007).
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Figures (5)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1 Periodic surface structure of the opal crystal and electro-optical switching of the LC cell fabricated by the same: (a-i) Normal and (a-ii) tilted FE-SEM views of the surface of the opal crystal, formed by monodisperse 320 nm silica particles; (b) AFM data exemplifying regular embossed surface with a hexagonal pattern; (c) and (d) POM images of the cell at 0 V and 5.0 V, respectively. The arrows denote the transmission axes of the polarizers. The inset in (c) is the corresponding conoscopic figure.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Optical, scanning electron, and polarized optical micrographs of the multi-layered SNPs with an average 15 nm diameter: (a) Optical image of the silica layer formed by varied deposition rate; (b) Optical image of the thick deposition; FE-SEM visualizations of the (c) thin layer with a normal view, (d) thick layer with a tilted view, and (e) magnified normal view of the thick layer; POM and conoscopic images of the LC cells fabricated with (f) thin and (g) thick silica layers. Scale bars for optical images correspond to 10 µm. Bright lines in (g) correspond to the crack-lines in (b).
Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Surface topographies of the (a) bare ITO-substrate and (b) thick silica layer, deposited using polydisperse 80 nm SNPs. The plots correspond to the surface profiles along the green diagonal lines in 2D-images. The histograms exhibit the number of events counted by the height of discrete aggregates.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Electro-optical switching characteristics and measured retardation values of the LC cells with 15 nm SNPs-layer (blue diamonds) and conventional PI-layer (black circles): (a) Voltage vs. Transmittance curves of the LC cells with different alignment layers, and (b) plots of measured (R/Ro−1) (V−V′) vs. (V−V′) used for the calculation of polar anchoring energy. The inset in (a) presents POM images of the dark and bright states for the SNPs-cell at the corresponding applied voltage. Scale bars correspond to 20 µm.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5 Schematic illustration of LC alignment at the surface of closely packed nanoparticles. The green solid lines in (a) depict tangential direction of a local LC director. The green ellipse in (b) represents LC molecule. Wa and We denote anchoring energy and elastic energy of LCs, respectively.

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