Vertical alignment of liquid crystal on tocopherol-substituted polystyrene films
We synthesised a series of vitamin-based and renewable tocopherol-substituted polystyrene (PTOC#, # = 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100), where # is the molar content of tocopherol moiety, using polymer analogous reactions to investigate their liquid crystal (LC) alignment properties. In general, the LC cell fabricated using the polymer film having a higher molar content of tocopherol side group showed vertical LC alignment behaviour. The vertical alignment (VA) behaviour was well correlated with the surface energy value of these polymer films. For example, VA was observed when the surface energy values of the polymer were smaller than about 35.22 mJ/m2 generated by the nonpolar tocopherol moiety having long and bulky carbon groups. Good electro-optical characteristics, such as voltage holding ratio and residual DC voltage, and aligning stabilities at 200°C and ultraviolet irradiation of 10 J/cm2 were observed for the LC cells fabricated using PTOC100 as a LC alignment layer. Therefore, it was first found that the renewable tocopherol-based materials can produce an eco-friendly vertical LC alignment system.
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