Study of Local Stress, Morphology and Liquid Crystal Alignment on Buffed Polyimide Surfaces

Copyright © (1996) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics

The magnitude of local stress of applied to a polymer surface in the buffing process, which is a critical method to uniformly align liquid crystals for displays, has been evaluated from the polarizing optical microscopic investigation of nematic liquid crystals in contact with polyimide surfaces which were suitably buffed in order to visualize the individual tracks of the buffing rayon fibers. The estimated magnitude of local stress is most likely to be far greater than the yield stress of the polymer film, thereby causing permanent molecular orientation along the buffing direction. The surfaces of poly(amic acid) and cured polyimide films, subjected to different buffing and cure profiles, have been examined by atomic force microscopy. The ability of these buffed polymer surfaces to align nematic and chiral smectic C liquid crystals were also investigated. These studies show that the presence of microgrooves on buffed polymer surfaces is not necessary for alignment of liquide crystals. The contribution of polymer molecules from the buffing fibers deposited and oriented on the polyimide surfaces during buffing, can also be ruled out. Rather, it is concluded that the liquid crystal molecules and the polymer segments oriented through the plastic deformation, with little contribution from frictional heating. For the alignment of smectics, both the degree of order and mechanical properties of polyimide films are found to be important factors.

By: J. A. Logan, D. Y. Yoon and H. Kikuchi (Kyushu Univ., Japan)

Published in: Journal of Applied Physics, volume 79, (no 9), pages 6811-17 in 1996

Please obtain a copy of this paper from your local library. IBM cannot distribute this paper externally.

Questions about this service can be mailed to .